Race for Maine Senate District 11

in the 2014 General Election

Jonathan S. Fulford

Jonathan S. Fulford

8,949 (49.68%)

Democratic - Monroe

Candidate profile


Total raised: $25,080
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $1,426
Maine Clean Elections money: $23,580
Candidate self-financing: $73
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $1
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $1,377
Donations from outside Maine: $50
Maine Clean Elections money: $23,580
Candidate self-financing: $73
Correction: An earlier version of this graph incorrectly noted Maine Clean Elections money as from out-of-state.
Michael D. Thibodeau

Michael D. Thibodeau

9,064 (50.32%)

Republican - Winterport

Candidate profile


Total raised: $15,050
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $14,800
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $250
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $0
Thibodeau raised 60.01% of the amount Fulford raised.
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $14,050
Donations from outside Maine: $750
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $250
Thibodeau raised 60.01% of the amount Fulford raised.

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

Fulford
No Maine social services must address the needs of seniors, disabled, veterans, children and families and transition the unemployed to working. As a society, we have a responsibility to care for those who are less fortunate. We all have neighbors who, through no fault of their own, are in real need. We must carefully target our state programs to best support people’s immediate needs and help them transition to self-sufficiency whenever possible. We need to find more creative solutions for those who need longer term care such as the elderly and disabled. A stronger, more robust home health care system will both save the state money and provide a much better quality of life. Finally, we must work to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse wherever it exists.

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Thibodeau
Yes We need to protect the social safety net for those who truly need it. We do them a disservice when we tolerate welfare abuse. We need to protect the social safety net for those who truly need it. We do them a disservice when we tolerate welfare abuse. Recent studies have shown that EBT cards are being used at an alarming rate outside of the State of Maine and even at places like Disneyworld. Time and time again, we are hearing news reports about EBT cards being part of items confiscated during drug arrests. We have all heard or know directly of cases where people are gaming the system and have made welfare a way of life. We have an obligation to take care of the elderly and the disabled, and to provide temporary assistance to those who have fallen on difficult times. Those people should not have to compete for limited resources with those who are abusing the system.

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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?

Fulford
Yes Maine families need tax relief. Let’s lower property taxes by restoring funding to towns and education, and ending tax cuts for the wealthy. Regular working families in Maine currently pay a higher percentage of tax relative to their income than the wealthy. They need tax relief. Property tax and sales tax affect middle and lower income folks the most. Income tax and estate tax affect the very wealthy the most. The best way to ensure that everyone pays their fair share- and no more than their fair share- is to lower property taxes and create a more progressive income tax.

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Thibodeau
Yes I reject the idea that lowering the income tax rate will result in lost revenue. History has proven otherwise. I reject the idea that lowering the income tax rate will result in lost revenue. In recently history, there have been numerous cases where tax cuts have led to increases in revenues to the government. When people are allowed to keep more of their own money, they spend more and invest more. Businesses expand and consumer activity increases, all resulting in more tax revenue being generated. Maine passed the largest tax cut in state history several years ago, taking 70,000 low income Mainers off the tax rolls. Now we have a budget surplus and have seen 22,000 private sector jobs created and a sharp decline in the unemployment rate. To cut spending, I would target welfare abuse and wasteful spending on pet projects that do not benefit Maine taxpayers.

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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?

Fulford
Yes It’s only fair for workers to pay partial union fees when a worker benefits from better wages and benefits negotiated by a union. It’s only fair for workers to pay partial union fees when a worker benefits from better wages and benefits negotiated by a union.

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Thibodeau
No Workers, particularly state employees, should not have to surrender part of their paychecks to a union they don't support. Workers, particularly state employees, should not have to surrender part of their paychecks to a union they don't support. Furthermore, the State of Maine should not act as collection agency for unions. Unions can and should stand on their own merits without mandatory participation. In the last legislative session, there was a bill to create "Open for Business Zones" that would have allowed voluntary union participation within these zones. The bill was rejected. I think we need to take another look at this. I think we should also take into account the success that Right to Work states are seeing in the U.S. right now, compared with those that require union membership.

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

Fulford
Yes It will save the state money, improve the health of 70,000 Mainers- including 3,000 veterans- provide jobs and stimulate the economy. It will save the state money, improve the health of 70,000 Mainers- including 3,000 veterans- provide jobs, and stimulate the economy. Maine is one of the few states that has refused to expand. Many other Republicans governors who opposed the Affordable Care Act have reconsidered and are now signing on for Medicaid expansion because it is clearly good for their states.

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Thibodeau
No Maine has already expanded its Medicaid program more than most states. As a result, the truly needy are waiting for services. Maine has already expanded its Medicaid program more than most states. This expansion of 100 percent government funded health care has put Maine in a financial bind. It created more than $700 million in hospital debt that we just recently paid off. Increasing enrollment in the program has been the source of yearly cost overruns in the state budget. In the past two years, the Legislature has looked at nearly a half dozen proposals to expand this "free" health care yet again to mostly able-bodied Mainers who are capable of working. We simply cannot afford it. Moreover, the over-enrollment of this program has come at the cost of elderly Mainers and those with disabilities who remain on waiting lists for vital services.

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

Fulford
As a small business owner, I believe more affordable loans for small business expansion and improved energy efficiency will create jobs. As a small business owner, I know the backbone of Maine’s economy is our entrepreneurial spirit and our hard work ethic. The best way to grow the economy is to support Maine’s small businesses. We can do this by providing more affordable loans for small businesses, expanding MaineCare, and restructuring our tax policy to put money back in the hands of people who will spend it. Loan programs that help homeowners and businesses improve energy efficiency will create construction jobs while also lowering energy costs. By reducing our dependence on imported fuel, Mainers will have more money to spend on local goods and services.

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Thibodeau
We need to make Maine more inviting to businesses by lowering taxes, exploiting cheaper energy sources, and reducing needless regulations. The State of Maine has a workforce that is second to none. But we need to make Maine more inviting to businesses by lowering taxes, exploiting cheaper energy sources, and reducing needless regulations. We have made significant progress on all of these fronts over the past four years, but much more needs to be done. I am the former owner of a construction company and recently started a new business manufacturing snow shovels. I know the challenges that go along with starting a business in this state. We need to reward those who are willing to take risks and invest in Maine. Once we accomplish all of these things, the jobs will follow.

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

Fulford
Yes Criminalization hasn’t reduced marijuana use. Jailing people for growing it is expensive for Maine. Revenue should go to the General Fund. Criminalization hasn’t reduced marijuana use. Jailing people for growing and selling it costs our state a lot of money. Any revenue should go to the General Fund.

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Thibodeau
No No No

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

Fulford
No Bonds are passed by referendum. Elected officials should obey the will of the people and sell bonds within a reasonable time period. Bonds are passed by referendum. Elected officials should obey the will of the people and sell bonds within a reasonable time period.

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Thibodeau
Yes The chief executive should have this latitude if he or she has good cause to believe the sale would hurt Maine financially. The chief executive should have this latitude if he or she has good cause to believe the sale would hurt Maine financially. This is a longstanding policy in Maine; however it should not be taken lightly. There may be extraordinary circumstances in which the governor believes the sale of bonds would be detrimental to the state's bond rating or Maine's future, in general. Regardless of the circumstances, the will of the voters who approved the bonds should play a major factor in guiding the chief executive's decision on whether to sell bonds.

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

Fulford
The best way to lower energy costs is with improved efficiency. Maine can be a leader in renewable energy to increase jobs and the economy. The best way to lower energy costs is with improved efficiency. Energy is one of the most important issues of our time. We have an opportunity to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reverse climate change, create good paying jobs, and save Mainers money. We need increased investment in insulation, better design and building practices, more efficient heating systems, and renewable energy. This is a growing sector in the economy and Maine can be a leader.

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Thibodeau
We must eliminate barriers to accessing clean, affordable energy in Maine. High energy costs remain one of the biggest obstacles to Maine business development. In recent years, we have made significant progress in making clean, inexpensive natural gas more accessible in Maine. We need to continue these efforts while, at the same time, exploiting other energy sources such as hydro that are readily available to us.

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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?

Fulford
Yes The voters have twice mandated this funding. It will reduce property taxes for everyone, including those on a fixed income. The voters have twice mandated this funding. It will reduce property taxes for everyone, including those on a fixed income, and most importantly it is a critical investment in Maine's future. We should look for ways to fund it without raising taxes first, however.

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Thibodeau
No We can reach the goal of funding K-12 at 55 percent without raising taxes. We can reach the goal of funding K-12 education at 55 percent without taking more money out of Mainers’ paychecks. It is matter of making the right priorities in Augusta. In order to do it, we must ensure that our education funding does not have to compete with wasteful spending. That means we need to have an efficient government and make tough choices in Augusta and not simply take the easy route of raising taxes.

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Should Maine have more charter schools?

Fulford
No We shouldn’t approve more charter schools until the funding is corrected, there’s more oversight, and better integration with public schools We should not approve more charter schools until the funding is corrected, there is more state oversight, and there is better integration with the public schools.

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Thibodeau
Yes If it is driven by a demand from parents and students whose traditional schools aren’t meeting expectations, more should be allowed. We should not create more charter schools simply because we can. The State of Maine has many outstanding public schools. As long as what public schools-including charter schools-are offering fulfills the needs of Maine’s students and parents, we don’t need to add more charter schools. If, however, some schools are falling short of expectations, charter schools present a viable option for a quality education, as we are already seeing with existing charter schools. But I believe this needs to be demand driven.

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