July 25, 2010

Independent Moody faces new challenge

Shawn Moody, who built his business from the ground up, says, 'Different is what Maine needs right now.'

By Matt Wickenheiser mwickenheiser@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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Shawn Moody, candidate for governor, was one of four panelists discussing employee stock option plans Friday at Moody's Collision Center in Gorham.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Shawn Moody says he feels confident about his candidacy and suggests that his opponents should be worried. “As people get to know who I am, we’re going to take off,” he said.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Moody said he began considering a run during the 2008 presidential race. He said he thought the discussions about "Joe the plumber" showed a lack of understanding about the trades and small business. Discussions about tax policy and the financial meltdown furthered his discontent, as well as his desire to make a difference in Maine.

He said he supports fixes to the regulatory and tax systems to make Maine more business friendly. He supports a strong social services safety net, but said it must be anchored by economic growth.

He said he believes he can take the model of Moody's, which is marked by technology use and open book management, and apply it to state government. It wouldn't be a perfect translation, he said, but could be adapted for each department.

Overall, he said, Maine is not set up to offer incentives for state workers to find savings. He proposed a "surplus sharing" system, not unlike profit sharing. If state workers identify savings, they would receive bonuses -- creating an incentive to find savings, Moody said.

On the issues, Moody said he thinks more of the money Maine spends on economic development should go to helping businesses that are already here. He also supports conducting exit interviews with companies that have left, to find out why.

On health care, Moody supports allowing residents to purchase insurance across state lines, to increase competition.

And on energy, Moody said he supports conservation above all, and development of offshore wind, hydro, tidal, biomass, solar and even methane from landfills.

Moody has been an unenrolled voter all his life. He said he sees voters supporting him from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Republicans who want someone with a business background who also value the social services and education systems could support him, Moody said. And Democrats who support social services and business growth may line up behind him, he said.

Brian Duff, a political scientist at the University of New England, said Moody is an "appealing character," who comes across as a straight-talking Mainer. But, said Duff, he tends to speak in broad generalizations.

He noted that in the primaries, several candidates ran on the strength of their business backgrounds, and they didn't win.

"I don't have high hopes for Shawn Moody to end up in the governor's house this year," Duff said. "That being said, he could run a respectable independent campaign, particularly in a year that's likely to be a little chaotic at the polls."

Moody said he feels confident, and suggests that his opponents should be worried.

"As people get to know who I am, we're going to take off," Moody said. "That's the way our whole life has gone -- different is what Maine needs right now."

Staff Writer Matt Wickenheiser can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:



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