Race for Maine Senate District 9

in the 2014 General Election

Geoffrey M. Gratwick

Geoffrey M. Gratwick

7,519 (52.98%)

Democratic - Bangor

Candidate profile


Total raised: $25,080
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $1,500
Maine Clean Elections money: $23,580
Candidate self-financing: $0
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $0
Gratwick raised 57.48% of the amount Weston raised.
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $1,400
Donations from outside Maine: $100
Maine Clean Elections money: $23,580
Candidate self-financing: $0
Gratwick raised 57.48% of the amount Weston raised.
Correction: An earlier version of this graph incorrectly noted Maine Clean Elections money as from out-of-state.
Cary M. Weston

Cary M. Weston

6,673 (47.02%)

Republican - Bangor

Candidate profile


Total raised: $43,633
Types of contributions
Monetary donations: $37,775
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $5,775
Loans: $0
In-kind donations: $83
Donations from inside Maine vs. out-of-state
Donations from inside Maine (excludes self-financing): $34,833
Donations from outside Maine: $3,025
Maine Clean Elections money: $0
Candidate self-financing: $5,775

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

Gratwick
No Welfare should go only to those who need it. Payments are limited to 5 years under a rule adopted by President Clinton. Welfare should go only to those who need it. Payments are limited to 5 years under a rule adopted by President Clinton. Welfare payments in Maine are $485 per month and the lowest in New England. Most people would prefer to have a job. Living on welfare is not a desirable life style.

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Weston
Yes Programs need to protect single moms and children. Too much money is going towards funding drug dealers. We need common sense reform. Programs need to protect single moms and children. Too much money is going towards funding drug dealers. We need common sense reform.

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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?

Gratwick
Yes But not if it shifts expenses to our local real estate tax. We need to balance taxes between municipalities, the state and the federal govt. Yes – But not if it shifts expenses to our local real estate tax. We need to balance taxes between municipalities, the state and the federal govt. The eternal question for any government is how to finance activities that are deemed to be in the public good. We need to have sufficient revenue so that the funding for essential local services is not shifted to regressive local property taxes. Local property taxes fall disproportionately on working people, the middle class, and seniors.

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Weston
Yes Mainers need to keep more of what they make. More regional collaboration & communication can lead to smarter budgeting statewide. Mainers need to keep more of what they make. More regional collaboration & communication can lead to smarter budgeting statewide.

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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?

Gratwick
Yes Agency shop has been a workable compromise. Members pay union dues and non-members pay only cost of being represented. Yes - Agency shop has been a workable compromise. Members pay union dues and non-members pay only cost of being represented. No employee can be forced to join a union. This has been illegal since Taft Hartley Act of 1946. However, according to federal regulations, any person who does not want to join a union must still pay that percentage of usual union dues spent on contract negotiations. Studies have shown that protections for workers are weaker and wages are lower in states that have done away with this requirement. Maine must not participate in a race to the bottom that hurts its workers.

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Weston
No Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

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

Gratwick
Yes It's overdue. Maine is one of two states where the number of uninsured people has risen in last 2 years. Expansion helps patients, hospitals Yes – It's overdue. Maine is one of two states where the number of uninsured people has risen in last 2 years. Expansion helps patients, hospitals and taxpayers. People need health insurance. Expansion of MaineCare will bring over $400 million and over 4,000 jobs to Maine. This is money that Maine tax payers have already sent to Washington. In the past it was returned to Maine in partial payment of Medicare claims. It was the intent of the Affordable Care Act that this money be used instead to fund the expansion of MaineCare. Because Governor LePage vetoed legislation to accept these funds, five times Maine’s tax money is being sent to other states to help them with their health care expenses. The federal government has never reneged on its promise to pay 62% of state Medicaid expenses (a higher rate than most states) so fears that the feds will back out now are unfounded.

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Weston
Yes Bangor is social service, medical, and addiction recovery destination for 2/3 of the state. We simply cannot go at this alone. Bangor is social service, medical, and addiction recovery destination for 2/3 of the state. We simply cannot go at this alone.

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

Gratwick
Maintain strong public schools that are free to teach what students need. Maine will succeed when our children succeed. We need a strong public school system that is free to teach what students need. Maine will succeed when our children succeed. There should be limits on tax diversions. We need a highly educated workforce equipped for tomorrow’s jobs. We must put energy and money into pre-K, exceptional public schools, STEM programs and affordable colleges and universities so that we can close the ‘skills gap’. This is something businesses (the Maine Chamber of Commerce), parents, teachers, seniors, and nearly everyone else agree on. Maine should push to increase access to Broadband/Hi Speed Internet. Universities, schools, the Jackson Lab and a few other institutions are connected at 100 Mbps; we should work toward this goal for businesses and other users. If South Korea can do it, why can’t we? Local efforts to foster businesses are in general more successful than large state initiatives. The state must return to the concept of state partnerships with local business development groups that were the norm before Governor LePage took office in 2011. Michaud’s Maine Made plan has six specific business initiatives designed to capitalize on our strengths.

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Weston
1) Increase relevant workforce in trades 2)lower energy costs 3)expand internet & cellular infrastructure 4)focus on rail & port assets 1) Increase relevant workforce in trades 2)lower energy costs 3)expand internet & cellular infrastructure 4)focus on rail & port assets

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

Gratwick
Yes But not right away. Let's watch Colorado and others and listen to the national debate before opening gates that will never close. Yes, but not right away. Let's watch Colorado and others and listen to the national debate before opening gates that will never close. Maine need not be a leader in the rush to legalize recreational marijuana. We should wait until data are available from Colorado and Washington. Some of the reasons for legalization include the fact that our prohibitive drug laws have not worked, have imprisoned and then marginalized an excessive number of non-violent people, and that ‘forbidden fruit’ is often the most desired by young people. Appropriate rules and restrictions similar those that apply to alcohol and cigarettes should be adopted. Some of the reasons that marijuana should not be approved are that it is a potentially dangerous drug in susceptible individuals and that it is illegal under federal law.

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Weston
No Far too many concerns in community, workplace, and among public safety professionals to support this. Far too many concerns in community, workplace, and among public safety professionals to support this.

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

Gratwick
No A governor should issue the bonds the people vote for. Period A governor should issue the bonds the people vote for. Period.

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Weston
No I understand it's a constitutional right but in my opinion, if the Maine people speak, we need to listen. Government of the people first. I understand it's a constitutional right but in my opinion, if the Maine people speak, we need to listen. Government of the people first.

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

Gratwick
Offer incentives for insulation, heat pumps, solar solutions; prevent established heat and power providers from imposing fees on renewables. Maine should offer incentives for insulation, heat pumps, and solar solutions and prevent established heat and power providers from imposing fees on use of renewable energy sources. The least expensive energy is that which isn't used. Most people want to know how they are going to heat their homes. Conserving energy, insulation, retrofitting and updating heating systems are the most cost effective measures we can take. Efficiency Maine has excellent cost effective programs in place for business and homeowners. Renewable energy is our future. It helps the environment, creates local jobs and supports manufacturing. The costs of such forms as roof top solar and large scale wind are decreasing. We must invest in ourselves.

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Weston
Acknowledge that wind and solar haven't moved the needle and focus efforts, money, and influence to effective efforts. Acknowledge that wind and solar haven't moved the needle and focus efforts, money, and influence to effective efforts.

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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?

Gratwick
Yes Overdue tax restructuring should provide for this. Perhaps state expenditures for local schools and certain equipment might be included. Yes - Overdue tax restructuring should provide for this. Perhaps state expenditures for local schools and certain equipment might be included. Education is our future. In 2004 a citizens’ referendum directed the state to reimburse local school funding at 55%. The state’s share had increased to 53% before the recession but is now down to 47%. We must get to 55%; Maine disregards the citizens’ will and education at our peril. 55% is also a way to provide local property tax relief. Property taxes are regressive, falling most heavily on middle class and working people. To get to this goal we must reprioritize the state’s expenses.

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Weston
Yes Yes...and formalize a municipal revenue sharing agreements. There are smart & motivated civic leaders who know what's best for their area. Yes...and formalize a municipal revenue sharing agreements. There are smart & motivated civic leaders who know what's best for their area.

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Should Maine have more charter schools?

Gratwick
No The experiment underway is already becoming more costly than anticipated and we should study those results before expanding charters. No. The experiment underway is already becoming more costly than anticipated and we should study those results before expanding charters. We now have five charter schools. Maine could expand to the 10 that have been authorized. However, before doing this, we need to know whether the charter schools we already have are working well. With only a few exceptions they have thus far been used as a way to undermine public schools and have benefited the few at cost to the many. We must determine how to equitably finance them. Funding must not be siphoned off from scarce local resources.

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Weston
Yes But the Bangor system is a model for efficiency & effectiveness. If we're looking for better ways. I think Maine could learn from Bangor. But the Bangor system is a model for efficiency & effectiveness. If we're looking for better ways. I think Maine could learn from Bangor.

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