March 13, 2010

Incumbent McDonough faces challenger

By EDWARD D. MURPHY Staff Writer

— By EDWARD D. MURPHY

John F. McDonough, R-Scarborough Member of the Maine House of Representatives

PPH

click image to enlarge

sean peter flaherty, candidate for house seat 127

Staff Writer

Lawmakers need to put the state on a pay-as-you-go system, said John F. McDonough, who's seeking a second term representing House District 127, which covers eastern and southern Scarborough.

''Every time we create a new program up there, it costs money to do it and we're in trouble budget-wise,'' said McDonough, a Republican who would like the Legislature to cut a program for every one it adds.

Sean Peter Flaherty, the Democratic candidate for the legislative seat, wants to see the state put more of an effort into creating jobs so young Mainers can do what he did: return to the state after college.

''I have too many friends in their 20s and 30s and they're living and working in other places, like Concord and Boston and Portsmouth,'' Flaherty said. ''They basically can't get good-paying jobs around here.''

Flaherty said lawmakers should provide for new programs at Maine colleges and universities so graduates can earn degrees in growing fields, such as nursing and health care, or hold the promise of growth, such as environmentally friendly power development.

''That's what's next in terms of American jobs and it's where Maine needs to carve out a niche and become a leader,'' Flaherty said, citing fields such as tidal, wind and solar energy.

McDonough agreed that green power is going to soon become big business.

''If we invest in the research and development to promote green businesses and energy, people are going to step up to the plate,'' McDonough said, adding that Maine needs to keep its business taxes in check to attract those small and start-up ventures.

On ballot measures, Flaherty said he opposes a repeal of new taxes on beer, wine and soda to help pay for the Dirigo health insurance program, although he thinks Dirigo needs work to increase the number of people it helps to insure.

McDonough said he opposes the new taxes and said Dirigo has failed and either needs to be eliminated or completely reworked.

Both candidates said they will vote against a referendum that would allow a casino to be built in Oxford County.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

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