Joseph C. Brannigan, D

Age: 79

Address: 168 Concord St., Portland

Professional/political experience: Retired two years ago as executive director of Shalom House Inc after 34 years; licensed social worker. Served in the Maine Legislature in both the House and Senate for 26 years; chaired several legislative committees including Appropriations, Health and Human Services and Transportation; Senate chair of the governor’s Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform Opportunities and Implementation.

Personal: Married, one adult son, Luke Brannigan.

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

A: Years of legislative experience, work as an executive in the field of mental health and years of service to people as a leader in the community have given me a wealth of experience for which I am grateful. In addition, I believe I possess the collective memory of the legislature, which is vital with term limits.

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: No new taxes unless the people can’t tolerate the cuts to education and human services that will be necessary. The budget must be balanced.

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

A: Balancing the budget, health care and senior issues.

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

A: It is not a legislative vote, I will vote for it at the polls.

Jeff Martin, R

Age: 39

Address: 131 Hope Ave., Portland

Professional/political experience: Owner, Foreside Real Estate Management; former CPA with Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker

Personal: Married, two children

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

A: I have spent my professional life creating paychecks and not handing out welfare checks.

As a certified public accountant, my education in Economics, and the owner of a small business, I understand how jobs are created and how decisions in Augusta impact decisions at the hiring desk.

As a husband and a father of two children, one child with special needs who receives government services, I have a full vested interest in ensuring that government works and Maine has a bright and successful future.

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: Recently the non-partisan group, Envision Maine and a nonprofit, Growsmart, released a report called “Reinventing Maine Government” which identified $1 billion of potential savings based on an honest comparison of our government with similar rural states and the country. Suggestions from that report are a good start. However, we will be unable to climb out of the $9 billion deficit unless Maine government places a laser like focus in improving the economy. Because whatever we care about –jobs, education, the environment, or social services – depends on a strong economy.

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

A: Jobs – Government does not create jobs, but it can definitely kill jobs. We need tax incentives for companies to hire people. We need to rein in health care costs that cripple many Maine companies, and we need our State regulations to be fair and sensible so we can grow economically.

Welfare reform – We need to focus aid on the truly needy, define success as a paycheck and not more welfare checks, and overhaul the bureaucracy to create a path to self-sufficiency.

Spending – We deserve a government that is transparent, accountable, and affordable.

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

A: Recently, I visited Colorado after a 19-year hiatus when I lived there briefly. At that time there was a discussion about opening casinos in economically depressed gold mining towns. During my visit, I spent a couple of evenings at these casinos and spoke with employees, managers, public safety officers and locals. I found once economically depressed mining towns were now vibrant, safe, growing communities that were attracting people from all over the country because of the quality of life and economic opportunities. There are many examples where casinos have complemented the tourist industry while preserving and enhancing quality of life. This can also happen in Maine.


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