Race for Maine House District 8

in the 2014 General Election

Christopher W. Babbidge

Christopher W. Babbidge

2,710 (57.57%)

Democratic - Kennebunk

Candidate profile


Total raised: $5,711
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $501
Maine Clean Elections money: $5,210
Candidate self-financing: $0
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $0
Babbidge raised 76.17% of the amount Karytko raised.
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $501
Donations from outside Maine: $0
Maine Clean Elections money: $5,210
Candidate self-financing: $0
Babbidge raised 76.17% of the amount Karytko raised.
Correction: An earlier version of this graph incorrectly noted Maine Clean Elections money as from out-of-state.
Edward Karytko

Edward Karytko

1,997 (42.43%)

Republican - Kennebunk

Candidate profile


Total raised: $7,498
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $6,230
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $1,110
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $158
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $5,930
Donations from outside Maine: $458
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $1,110

Is Maine too generous in providing social services to its residents? Which government benefits should be increased or decreased?

Babbidge
No We have the responsibility, within our means, to temporarily help our less fortunate to get back on their feet and contribute to society. This question is too broad for a yes or no answer without responsible investigation of all programs, but the BDN didn't allow the entire survey to be submitted without a choice here. Within our ability to do so, we have a responsibility to help fellow Mainers who are children, elderly, sick, or disabled, and to provide both support and incentive to get the able-bodied to work and contributing to the tax base. Welfare fraud, like white-collar crime or tax evasion, will always be attempted by some, but our task is to be there for those who truly need it while making the benefit difficult to abuse. Just as our legal process prioritizes avoiding punishment of the innocent, our social services must first get to those for whom they are intended. Fortunately, the Governor's DHHS investigation found violations at less than 2%, although his Commissioner's message was "We have found welfare fraud.". It was also revealed that eight new fraud investigators costing taxpayers nearly $700,000 per year had found only $53,000 in recipient fraud in their first five months. Unfortunately, politicizing the issue is effective because we're all against fraud. But, as court records reveal, whereas welfare fraud against Maine taxpayers by the poor (recipients) is in the thousands, that by the rich corporations (providers) is in the millions of dollars. Indeed, we must be diligent to ensure ALL public funds are targeted and properly spent. But it was a Republican President, Teddy Roosevelt, who reminded us that it is government's responsibility to ensure a substantial equality of opportunity, and that may require a "hand up."

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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Do you support lowering the state income tax? If so, what state spending would you cut to make up for the loss of revenue?

Babbidge
Yes When we prioritize programs and can pay our bills while controlling spending in a rebounding economy, tax rates can be lowered. I'm for controlling spending and for paying our bills. If we can do both, meet our obligations, and lower the tax, then yes. Lowering taxes after meeting obligations is always good, if possible, but Maine's revenue stream is already stressed with worthy obligations, and that’s why a strong and vibrant economy is job 1. However, a progressive tax schedule is the fairest, so I would sooner reduce a regressive tax. Tax relief for the middle class and small businesses would take priority.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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Should labor unions be allowed to require workers to pay dues as a condition of employment, regardless of whether the worker joins the union?

Babbidge
No A worker who refuses to pay dues but who gets union benefits may choose to pay a reduced, nominal fee to cover efforts on his behalf. The economy should work for employees as well as employers. Maine workers deserve the hard-won rights of collective bargaining if they want to organize. I do not support required membership in a union as a condition of employment. But those that choose to be employed in a job that has a unionized workforce should not receive negotiated benefits and let others bear the cost. Those who don't join their colleagues, who refuse to pay dues and participate in decision-making but who benefit by the negotiated settlement, should pay a minimal assessment representing a token per capita cost of the negotiation process.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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Would you vote to expand Medicaid eligibility as allowed by the Affordable Care Act?

Babbidge
Yes It will improve lives immediately, and save lives and money in the long term. Yes, for some of Maine's less fortunate hard-working population, this will mean the difference between life and death. Maine's leading Republicans have chosen to follow the directives of their national party (and its contributors in the health insurance industry) to stop the Affordable Care Act, and, by doing so, they have thrown 70,000 Mainers under the bus. Giving these Mainers, including thousands of veterans and many single Moms, a family doctor, cancer screenings, and birth control, is not just right but cost-effective. First, depriving these Maine people of these services (which each of us would demand for our own families) while their national taxes contribute to coverage for other Americans is an injustice. Preventive medicine will save millions. We must stop extreme expense of the continuation of too-frequent trips to the emergency room for primary care, and the often too-late trips to the E.R. for serious illness. And the by-product, the stimulus of $300,000,000 into the troubled Maine economy will create jobs and have a ripple effect.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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What is the biggest thing Maine can do to attract more jobs to the state?

Babbidge
Educate our workforce, provide incentives for job creation to keep talented graduates, and promote affordable energy and clean environment. Quality education of our work force will provide new businesses the labor force they need, and the resulting good-paying jobs will keep our talented young graduates here. Tax incentives should be indexed to job creation. Private-public partnerships can succeed when government is helpful yet consistent with rule enforcement. We need to work to access affordable energy, including wood pellets, wind, solar, and possibly even hydro. We must continue to teach and promote Mainers' good work ethic. And, finally, we must protect the state's beauty and quality of life, our biggest assets...that is why people move here.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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Should Maine legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana? If so, where should the revenues go?

Babbidge
No I am not convinced that the potential benefits outweigh the potential harmful effects of legalization. I am not convinced that the potential benefits outweigh the potential harmful effects of legalization. A man's home is his castle, and I believe in tolerance of behavior in the home that does not harm others. But I believe legalization would increase availability and indirectly sanction use, and that incidences of impaired driving and long-term health effects outweigh any projected economic advantage.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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Should the governor be allowed to delay the sale of general obligation bonds that have been approved by voters?

Babbidge
Yes The Chief Executive, if elected by a majority, could delay, with explanation, for up to a year before putting it in the Treasurer's hands. If the state's chief executive were chosen by mandate of the majority of Maine voters, and a bond was passed in, say, a closely contested vote, I would be okay with the Governor having the ability to delay the sale of the bond for up to a year, provided he provide the legislature within written justification for his actions. Only a governor elected by a majority (empowered by more than 50% of Maine's voters) should have this power to delay, but not stop, the people's will as expressed by the majority on a bond referendum. Our present Governor's delay, however, has impeded job growth and prevented needed infrastructure rehabilitation. The Treasurer already has discretion while considering the expiration of previous bonds and market rates.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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What should the state do to lower energy costs? What commitment should Maine make to renewable technology?

Babbidge
We should promote and facilitate conservation, investment, and diversification, especially in clean and renewable energy alternatives. We should promote and facilitate conservation, investment, and diversification, especially in clean and renewable energy alternatives. Wood pellets, wind, solar, biothermal, tidal, and even, in certain circumstances, hydro should be on the table. The Governor erred in driving away foreign investment in Maine wind power. Also, I hope his lack of support contributing to missed federal grants does not prove a lethal blow to UMaine's pioneering program. Building to improved codes, insulating Maine's aged homes, and installation of efficient heating systems will improve energy efficiency over time.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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Should lawmakers make it a priority — even if it means raising taxes — to fulfill the voters' mandate to have the state fund 55 percent of the total cost of K-12 public education?

Babbidge
No The health of our economy should determine the speed by which we achieve the worthy goal of 55% This is too large of a question for a simple yes or no response, because there could be exceptions depending on various factors. But the pressure on Maine taxpayers in our current economy warrants a "NO." A higher share of state funding for K-12 education will give every Maine child a more equal chance at educational success. The incremental implementation of the people's vote of 2004 was the right thing to do to avoid large tax increases, and the further delay following the economic trauma of 2008-2009 was also justified. But in recent years we’ve lost ground and are back to 42-44%. As the economy improves, which it is slowly doing, the state should seek gradual accomplishment of this goal.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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Should Maine have more charter schools?

Babbidge
No The current model of private, for-profit less-accountable schools that drains K-12 public education dollars is harmful to public schools. I do not support private, for-profit charter schools without elected school boards and without accountability. I oppose their leaching of public money from Maine's K-12 public education budget. Innovative alternative education should be offered within a public school system under the supervision of a Superintendent and School Board which can be held accountable for proper certification.

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Karytko did not answer this question.

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