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House District 93

Mullins calls for entrepreneurial enterprise

By Stephen Betts | Sep 08, 2020
Michael Mullins

Rockland — Michael Mullins said he wants to help make the state a good environment for entrepreneurs to grow businesses.

Mullins is the Republican candidate for Maine House District 93, which consists of Rockland and Owls Head. He will be on the Nov. 3 ballot along with Democrat Valli Geiger of Rockland.

Mullins is the owner and manager of Cranesport Garage, a business incubator in Camden. In 2015, Mullins purchased and restored the former Crockett's Quarry across Maverick Street from the Rockland Golf Club. In 2017, he submitted a proposal to buy and convert the Mary E. Taylor building in Camden into a maker space, a shared multidisciplinary workshop with programming for adults and children.

Mullins is on the board of directors of Mullins Management, a Boston-based developer engaged in mixed-income housing and historic preservation. In the past, he sat on the boards of Dublin School, CNU New England and Caritas Communities, a nonprofit dedicated to preservation of single-room occupant housing.

He was a fellow in the 2009 Class of Startup Leadership, and founder of the Lean Startup Challenge business accelerator, in partnership with MassChallenge in 2011. Mullins is the founder of Maine Relief, a nonprofit that has been producing masks for the community under the name Mid Coast Pop Up Factory.

The Cedar Street resident said his background in affordable housing, historic preservation and entrepreneurship will help him be an effective legislator.

He said his vision for the Maine economy is not one that favors large corporations, but would build from the bottom up.

"I support an entrepreneurial economy that uses a bottom-up approach, where the state cultivates a good environment for small businesses to grow," he said.

He also said one of the key foundations is to "do everything we can to help businesses restart and grow. The more growth we create means we decrease what is a shared tax burden and to support all our programs."

He said the state should craft regulations to promote economic activity. He suggested expanding historic tax credits to promote affordable housing in mixed use development. He also voiced support for tax credits to help farmers, particularly organic farms.

Expanding broadband is important for the economy, he said. There needs to be competition in the industry.

Mullins said he is a big advocate of education. That includes support for families to have the choice of being able to attend any public school in the state that fits the needs of the students. He said he would support private school vouchers only if it would not take money away from public schools.

He served on the board of a private high school and said each student is different, and the right fit is needed for all individual pupils.

Changing the state education funding formula is not necessarily the answer but looking for a different source of income for schools, such as the sales tax, Mullins said.

"The real thing that would move the needle in education is for the state to reimburse from a different source," Mullins said.

The Republican candidate said he cannot imagine what a difficult position Gov. Janet Mills is in, trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.

He said the difference in what he would have done is to mobilize people and resources. He pointed out he opened a mask manufacturing facility in Camden.

He said the vulnerable populations should be kept in nursing homes or private homes and then restaurants could be contracted to provide meals to those vulnerable people so they can reduce their risk by not going out.

"We need to use the resources we have to tackle the problem head on," Mullins said.

The House candidate said budget deliberations will be difficult with the reduction in revenues due to the COVID-19 shutdowns. He said the state can't simply raise taxes on people to deal with the shortfall.

Instead, the state needs to look at all programs, but he cannot list one he would support cutting yet, but that each needs to be looked at see what is efficient and whether they meet the desired outcomes.

"I hope the state can grow its way out," he said

When talking about climate change, Mullins said there is no question human activity affects the composition of the atmosphere, but he does not know to what degree. He said reducing carbon emissions was needed, and encouraging renewable energy.

Mullins called gun control a hot-button issue and when asked if he would support gun control legislation, he mentioned red flag laws. But he said he would only support such a law — in which guns are taken from people with mental illness who are considered a risk — if the subject of the law was given due process and their day in court before any weapons could be taken. He said proactive intervention by community organizations and gun groups could be used in cases in which red flag laws might be used.

When asked if he supports his political party's nominee for president, Mullins said he was not running on the question of whether he supports President Trump. He said President Trump has some character deficiencies that "makes him a little hard to take."

Mullins said, however, it would be difficult for him to cross party lines in the presidential election.

Election 2020 - Michael Mullins - Candidate: Maine House District #93
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Comments (7)
Posted by: George Terrien | Sep 10, 2020 14:22

And, Mr. Mullins, what do you say about Paul Lepage's threatened candidacy (to follow reinstatment, of course)?

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 10, 2020 04:59

Raising taxes due to Covid-19 is a no brainer. It has to happen. The question is who will we place the most burden on?  Republicans are noted for adding it to the middle class and reducing taxes on the most wealthy. Be careful who you vote for.  Trump and LePage are a prime example.  Don't forget folks or we will all pay the price.

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Sep 09, 2020 20:07

The wind blew and the &%$# flew.

Posted by: Michael Mullins | Sep 09, 2020 17:29

Hi George and Richard.  Thank you for your comments.  These written excerpts are from my video interview, which may be worth watching because I did say substantially more and you can see it there.  Sometimes people do ask me questions about Trump, whether I support him, whether I like seeing my signs with his.  They also ask me why I am running as a Republican when my own positions are so far from their own perception of the Republican Party and their perception of the President.  What I tell them is that respectfully, I am running for myself, and my own race.  I will tell you this; I have been a Republican longer than Donald Trump, who has changed his party affiliation as many as five times and was for long stretches, was registered as a Democrat.  Mr. Trump does have serious flaws and so does Mr. Biden.  If either of you would like to talk about either of those two candidates, I'd be happy to do so sometime.  My reaction so far is that talking disparagingly about one candidate offends 25% of people and talking disparagingly about the other candidate offends another 25%.  And I don't generally think it's necessarily a positive to speak disparagingly about any given candidate in any given race, because it makes one appear negative.  If your litmus test is that I must speak disparagingly of someone, I might not be your top choice, and I understand that.  I want to and intend to work together with both sides of the aisle, and that starts with civility.  But if you have a policy question, let's discuss that.



Michael M

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 09, 2020 14:00

Absolutely right, Mr. Terrien, to ask that question. I could never support anyone supportive in any way, shape or manner of either Donald Trump or LePage. "A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything."  A wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf.

Posted by: George Terrien | Sep 09, 2020 11:58

OK.  if Mr. Mullins refuses to approve or condemn our President, the leader of his Party, where does he stand on a question much closer to home?  Does he support Paul Lepage inh his hinting at running again for governor in Maine?  That is a very important question for many of us, both ways, even, and one that bears directly upon his candidacy for Legislature.  I hope he will state his position forthrightly, much more openly than his mealy-mouthed view of Trump in my view let him down.  And hiding behind a "Well, let's see what Paul supports first" or something like that offers poor camouflage.  Lepage is NOT an untried horse, however tired we may think him.

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Sep 09, 2020 10:12

Vulnerable populations should be kept isolated in nursing homes or private homes? Does that mean everybody over age 50 and/or with any preexisting condition? If so, we need to hurry up and build that new nursing home on Old County Rd and a few dozen more like it.

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