Linda Sanborn (D)

Age: 58

Address: 170 Spiller Road, Gorham

Professional/political experience: One term in the Maine State House of Representatives, retired family physician

Personal: Married, three grown sons

Q: How would your personal and professional experience allow you to be an effective legislator?

A: Having served on the Health and Human Services Committee during my two years in the House, I have learned much about how DHHS and the Legislature work. My experience as a family doctor is extremely useful as it enables me to speak knowledgably to the issues and make responsible, well-reasoned decisions. I would like to build upon what I have learned and begun in my first term of service.

Q: Maine is facing a projected shortfall of around $1 billion in the next budget. As a legislator, how would you deal with the shortfall? Would you raise taxes to meet the shortfall? If not, what programs and/or departments would you target for cuts?

A: Increasing taxes in this economic climate is not advisable. Since we cannot predict the future, we need to keep all options open to deal with new challenges. Balancing the budget last term without increasing taxes was laudable, but I do worry about passing the costs of education onto local taxpayers or the loss of vital safety net programs. We must continue to look for efficiencies in government and further consolidation where possible. We need to look further at tax expenditures that are not performing as intended.

Q: What are the top three issues you would work on as a legislator?

A: Currently jobs and the economy are the biggest issues facing the state and many Maine families, as well. I would work to simplify the regulatory environment for small businesses, make health care more affordable, and educate a workforce that will attract or create businesses with high-tech jobs and clean energy jobs. I want to grow jobs that pay a livable wage, allow our children to stay and work in state, and allow our elders to retire without worrying about outliving their savings.

Q: How will you vote on the proposed casino for Oxford County?

A: I have not decided. I have opposed the idea of casinos in the past, feeling that money spent in the casino is revenue not spent in other businesses and that casinos can bring unwanted crime and addiction to an area, costing the state in many ways. However, I do understand how desperate Oxford County is for jobs and think a casino could provide those jobs more quickly than most other options. If we were going to allow a casino anywhere, we should have approved the casino for Native American tribes.

Jacob (Jake) Stoddard (R)

Age: 25

Address: 44 Webster Road, Buxton

Professional/political experience: Program manager of a home for adults with developmental disabilities

Personal: Single

Q: How would your personal and professional experience allow you to be an effective legislator?

A: The Department of Health and Human Services and Education account for nearly 80 percent of the state’s bi-annual budget. In addition to professional experience in the mental health field, I’m a volunteer wrestling coach at Scarborough High School. Wearing these two hats, I see absurd amounts of duplication, waste and irresponsible fiscal management. Compressing overhead by merging responsibilities of municipalities and school districts would yield significant revenue savings without affecting the quality of education. Streamlining and modernizing DHHS would also yield significant savings without effecting services. Due to my experience, when the Legislature receives the budget, I am ready on day one to make changes that yield significant savings without effecting services.

Q: Maine is facing a projected shortfall of around $1 billion in the next budget. As a legislator, how would you deal with the shortfall? Would you raise taxes to meet the shortfall? If not, what programs and/or departments would you target for cuts?

A: Yes we are facing a billion dollar deficit, but that does not mean all of our programs are run efficiently and effectively. We spend excessive amounts of money for programs and services that could be performed much more economically. I have already laid out some of the areas I believe we could find significant savings in DHHS and Education. We fund over 150 road commissioners in this state, there is significant savings there. One of my wrestlers said, “1 percent of a huge number is still a huge number.” Increasing the size of legislative districts, or going to a uni-cameral Legislature would save millions of dollars. It works Nebraska, it can work here. There is no magic solution here. Every program and department is going to have to do there part to find savings and it can be done.

Q: What are the top three issues you would work on as a legislator?

A: Currently it’s not what are the top three issues, there is only one issue: jobs. Our economic state has to be Augusta’s focus. To do this we must rein in our burdensome bureaucracy, reduce government spending and lower our tax burden. If we take care of our economic problems a lot of our other problems take care of themselves. I’m a believer in the so-called Laffer Curve – lowering tax rates and allowing business to practice with minimal government invasion is the best way to cure our troubles. Doing these things must be our lawmakers’ top priorities.

Q: How will you vote on the proposed casino for Oxford County?

A: Gambling is at every convenience store, bingo hall, social club and numerous other places in the state. VIP advertises trips to Foxwoods casino in the local paper. Mainers who are going to gamble, are going to gamble. I’m not a personal fan of gambling. I haven’t bought a scratch ticket for myself in five years and I’ve never been to Hollywood Slots. I’ve also never been mugged in Bangor. I can’t not support hundreds of jobs, and the economic boost from a development project of that scale. Therefore, I will vote yes.


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