Wednesday, March 12, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
State Sen. Debra Plowman, right, officially kicks off her U.S. Senate campaign April 27 in Lewiston.
2012 File Photo/John Ewing
DEBRA PLOWMAN will answer your questions live online at pressherald.com today at 3:30 p.m.
FAMILY: Married (David), three children (James 25, Katie 22, Oilivia 16), two grandchildren
EDUCATION: Studied political science at the University of Southern Maine
OCCUPATION: Co-owner PDQ Door, Hampden-based overhead door company
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Maine House of Representatives, 1992-2000; Maine Senate 2004-2012, assistant Senate majority leader 2010-2012
ON THE ISSUES
• Do you support President Obama’s health care law? No
• Do you support a balanced budget amendment? Yes
• Would you support a tax increase for the wealthy? No, would prefer to examine exemptions used to avoid taxes
• Would you vote to extend the nation’s debt limit? No
• Do you support legalizing gay marriage? No
• Do you support legal access to abortion? No
• What should Congress be doing to create jobs and improve the economy? “Congress does not create jobs. Congress should examine the excessive and expensive regulations on businesses as we did in the 125th Legislature. Business owners need to use their energies to grow their businesses and their economy. Spending valuable work hours filling out paperwork and jumping through bureaucratic hoops keeps businesses and their employees from concentrating on their businesses. Congress should concentrate on passing a budget and control our nation’s spending.”
NOTABLE ENDORSEMENTS AND SUPPORTERS
• The Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine
• VOICES of Conservative Women, a national political action committee
• Alan Burton, a vice president of Cianbro Corp.
• Michael Levesque, owner of Corinna-based Perfect Fit USA
• Barry Pottle, CEO of Bangor-based Pottle’s Transportation
• State Rep. Joan Nass, R-Acton
"She has a remarkable ability to walk into a room and size up the situation," said Senate Majority Leader Jonathan Courtney, R-Springvale, a candidate for Maine's 1st Congressional District seat. "You know where she stands. She doesn't back down. She's a strong voice."
Plowman took a four-year break from the Legislature after she and her husband started PDQ Door in 1995 (PDQ stands for Pretty Darn Quick). The overhead door company has since grown from a four-person operation to 50 employees with six locations around the state.
Plowman talks to voters about creating jobs and the responsibility of making payroll for 50 families. But she is best known as a conservative, pro-business, anti-abortion stalwart in the Legislature.
"I'm very fiscally conservative. I'm very socially conservative. I have no problem saying that," Plowman said at her official campaign launch last month in Lewiston.
She is a longtime and unapologetic member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national business-backed group that pushes for conservative state legislation.
The council has been criticized in recent months for promoting gun rights policies such as Florida's Stand Your Ground law, and for supporting bills to weaken labor unions and tighten voter identification rules.
Plowman has supported waiting periods and parental notification for those seeking abortion services and repeatedly introduced legislation to give legal-victim status to fetuses killed as a result of violence, such as the murder of a woman who is pregnant.
The bills have consistently been defeated in the pro-choice Maine Legislature, although Plowman isn't conceding. "Some issues will take longer to come around," she said.
Although Plowman's views on abortion may help her in the primary, some of her campaign rhetoric has drawn criticism from outside the party.
At a candidate forum last month in Bangor, for example, she told an audience of conservative Christians about a neighbor who was pressured by Planned Parenthood to get an abortion even though she didn't want one, and said medical school students are required to perform abortions to graduate.
Megan Hannon of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England disputed both claims.
"I don't want to call Senator Plowman a liar, but we definitely don't do that," Hannon said. "We counsel women with facts. We don't judge, we don't use scare tactics and we don't tell people how to make decisions."
And although medical school students who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology learn about doing abortions and removing fetuses after miscarriage, they are not required to perform abortions to graduate, Hannon said.
Plowman is leaving the state Senate this year because of term limits. She said she was already planning a future run for Congress when Snowe announced her unexpected retirement in February.
"I want to make this my 10th win," she said.
Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org