Race for U.S. House District 2

in the 2014 General Election

Emily Ann Cain

Emily Ann Cain

118,074 (41.81%)

Democratic - Orono

Candidate profile

Bruce Poliquin

Bruce Poliquin

132,970 (47.09%)

Republican - Oakland

Candidate profile

Blaine Richardson

Blaine Richardson

31,103 (11.01%)

Independent - Belfast

Candidate profile

Write-in candidates

  • Leigh M. Hawes

Should Congress raise the federal minimum wage?

Cain
Yes No one who works full time should have to live in poverty. I will work with small businesses to find the best approach to raising the wage. It’s time to raise the minimum wage. No one who works full time should have to live in poverty. If we’re serious about strengthening our economy and growing the middle class we should start by paying Maine people a fair wage. I voted to raise the minimum wage in Augusta, and as a member of Congress, I will work with Maine’s small businesses to find the best approach to raising the minimum wage.

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Poliquin
No Want to see result of compromise Sen. Collins working on. Not force closure of struggling small businesses, not kill stepping stone jobs. Our 2nd District families need better-paying careers, not just minimum wage jobs. Within the past year alone, about 1,000 hard-working fellow Mainers lost their good-paying jobs with benefits when the paper mills closed in East Millinocket, Old Town, and most recently Bucksport. During the past 20 years, thousands of other Maine families lost their good-paying jobs when textile mills and shoe factories shut down. Career politicians in Washington and Augusta have contributed to the closure of these previously thriving industries. Members of Congress with no job creation experience have voted to impose increasingly tough regulations and higher taxes on U.S. employers. So, businesses move to Canada, Mexico, and overseas where costs are lower and they can grow and hire more workers - foreign workers. Congress has refused to allow the full production and safe transportation of our clean natural gas and other energy resources here in America. Stopping the construction of the XL Keystone Pipeline and the development of the huge natural gas fields in western Pennsylvania and upper New York State has helped drive up the cost of heating oil, gasoline, natural gas, and electricity. A primary reason the paper mills closed in East Millinocket, Old Town, and Bucksport was the unaffordable energy costs to run their operations. When lifetime politicians in Congress passed Obamacare, the federal government took over our health care system. In addition to families losing their health insurance plans and doctors, small businesses can't afford the expensive Obamacare mandates so they don't hire more workers or cut work hours. And, taxes continue to rise to pay for Obamacare. In the end, jobs are lost and our families suffer. In Augusta, career state legislators with no business experience, like my opponent Emily Cain, have steadily increased wasteful government spending; expanded welfare that resulted in $500 million of hospital debt; increased state taxes to among the highest in the nation; and saddled small businesses with smothering regulations. These votes by our elected officials have resulted in Maine having one of the worst climates in America for job creation. Maine workers are among the best in the world. Our elected officials in Washington and Augusta should help build an environment where our businesses can succeed, expand, hire more workers, and pay career wages with benefits. We can do better than settle for an economy that produces too many minimum wage jobs. When in Congress, I'll use my 35 years of job creating experience to help solve the serious problems that are killing good jobs in our 2nd Congressional District and throughout Maine and America. I'll work with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans to make sure Washington starts spending only what it takes in, starts paying down the $17 trillion national debt, reduces taxes, safely expands our energy production, and fixes the health care problem. Doing so will attract a flood of investment and good-paying jobs throughout Maine and America where the minimum wage will stop being a political issue. I will always stand up for the interests of our hard-working Maine families, workers, and small businesses. Emily Cain, has no job creation experience. She has never held a full time job. She has always received a paycheck from the taxpayers as a state legislator and a part time employee in the University. As a state legislator, Emily Cain's extreme liberal track record mirrors that of Nancy Pelosi. Emily Cain repeatedly voted to increase government spending, expand welfare, increase debt, add regulations, and raise taxes. These policies have killed jobs for our hard-working 2nd District families and have caused young workers to leave Maine for better opportunities elsewhere. Emily Cain supports a huge carbon tax that will raise the cost of heating oil, gasoline, and electricity - hurting more Maine families and killing more jobs. Emily Cain's extreme job-killing record in the Maine legislature is not what we need in Congress. I believe the honest, hard-working families of our 2nd District want someone who shares their fiscally conservative, pro-jobs values to represent them in Congress. I'd be honored to work tirelessly to help mix the mess in Washington, not make it worse.

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Richardson
No No, a raised federal minimum wage will hurt both small business owners and those who have entry level jobs in the job market. No, a raised federal minimum wage will hurt both small business owners and those who have entry level jobs in the job market.

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How should the U.S. respond to the rise in immigrants crossing the southern border, particularly unaccompanied children?

Cain
Congress must come together to secure our borders and protect our communities. When kids are involved, we must be compassionate and fair. We must secure our borders and protect our communities. I will work with other representatives from all border states – including the Northern border – to make sure any immigration policy works for Maine. Because there are children involved with this issue, we must address it with compassion and fairness. But let’s be clear, we are in the position we are in right now because partisans on both sides of the aisle are standing in opposite corners and refuse to come to the table to work on comprehensive immigration reform. This situation is very serious, and it’s another reason we cannot let partisanship and personality politics get in the way. Congress needs to focus on getting this taken care of immediately. I have a record of coming to and staying at the table to get things done. I will work with reasonable people of any party to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform.

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Poliquin
Legal immigration helps our country; illegal entry hurts it. We must secure our borders. This is public health, nat'l security, & jobs issue America faces two serious problems on our southwest border. One is the overall immigration issue we've been debating for years. The other is the humanitarian crisis from thousands of unaccompanied Central American minors crossing the Texas border. Maine's next Congressman or woman from our 2nd District will have to deal with these highly charged issues. It will take mature, informed judgment to do so. As a parent, I can't imagine sending a child or young adult on a dangerous 1,400-mile journey from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. border. However, over the past year, desperate parents have entrusted ruthless human traffickers to deliver nearly 60,000 of their children to our national door step. During the journey, reports are common of physical abuse, rape, and worse. What these kids endure is unthinkable. My heart goes out to them and their families. The long-term immigration issue and the current humanitarian crisis are connected. For years, Presidents and Congress have refused to secure the southwest border and enforce our immigration laws. More recently, President Obama has sent the message that if a child reaches American soil, even illegally, he or she will not be sent back home. The violence, lack of opportunity and despair in Hondoras, Guatamala and El Salvador are reasons enough for many to flee. And, when these fearful families see a largely open U.S. border and a permissive attitude about illegal entry, it shouldn't surprise us that millions end up on our border hoping for better lives. The failure of career politicians in Washington to do their jobs has opened the floodgates of chaotic illegal immigration to America. Now, it's our problem, and the same politicians who shirked their responsibilities wonder why this is all happening. The wave of human suffering reaching our shores is hurting hard-working American taxpayers. Families are still struggling through the worst recession in 70 years. It isn't fair that America be forced to deal with and care for tens of thousands of border crossers when we sometimes can't afford education and health care services for our own legal citizens. Jobs for American workers should be another concern of ours. At some point and at some level, millions of illegal immigrants compete with American workers for jobs. That's not fair either. The surge of radical terrorist organizations in the Middle East, and the growing health threat from the deadly ebola virus, make border security and controlled legal immigration a priority for our country. If honored to serve as your next Congressman, I will roll up my sleaves and work hard with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to find a lasting solution which includes: First, using all appropriate federal resources, including the National Guard and surveillance technology, to assist state border control personnel to follow existing law, secure our southwest border, and stop illegal entry. Second, implementing an aggressive and clear messaging campaign to the originating countries that their citizens who arrive in America illegally will be processed quickly and humanely, and returned home safely. Third, imposing tough penalties for human traffickers and those who assist them. Fourth, if needed, changing existing federal law so that illegal immigrants from Central American countries are able to be returned home as easily as those arriving illegally from Mexico. Fifth, making it clear to the originating countries that U.S. foreign aid and other cooperation will be in jeopardy if those governments knowingly allow human smuggling within their borders. Sixth, imposing stiff penalties for U.S. employers who hire illegal workers. America has a proud history of welcoming hard-working legal immigrants. More than a hundred years ago, my French-Canadian ancestors journeyed to Maine looking for better lives and more freedom. They toiled in the mills of Lewiston, Waterville, Oakland and Fairfield, with every generation working hard to improve its lot in life. Let's build upon America's rich history of legal immigration by creating a system that encourages and rewards people coming to our country the right way, and discourages those choosing to break the law. We also need to hold the President and Congress accountable. We should insist they work together to secure our southwest border, end the humanitarian crisis and illegal entry, and fix our broken immigration system. My opponent in this campaign for Congress, Emily Cain, supports giving amnesty to students who are in our country illegally. That extreme position does not reflect the values of the law-abiding families of our 2nd Congressional District. It's also not fair to our hard-working taxpayers, and to those new Americans who followed the rules to become U.S. citizens.

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Richardson
We need to fully secure our border. Those children need to have medical treatment given to them and then sent back to their home. We need to fully secure our border. The children who crossed the border unaccompanied need to have medical treatment given to them and then sent back to their home.

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How do you propose fixing Obamacare?

Cain
We need to fix what’s wrong and keep what’s right, lowering costs and making sure doctors, not insurance executives, make the decisions. There is no question that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was terrible. My goal is to lower the cost of healthcare for Maine people and businesses. Unlike my opponents, I have always stood up for access to affordable, accessible healthcare for Mainers. I will never take us back to the days where insurance companies made our health care decisions for us, and unlike my opponents I won’t break the promise of Medicare and Social Security. Unlike my opponents, I have always been honest and clear about where I stand and I will work with reasonable people - no matter their political party - to lower costs and improve health care for all Americans - no matter their income level. Bruce Poliquin wants to take us back to the days when wealthy insurance companies chose who got to keep their health insurance when they got sick. He even supports ending the Medicare guarantee, which would raise costs for our seniors. These are positions he’s had all along and he’s trying to hide them now because he knows he’s on the wrong side of Maine’s voters. Either he’s misleading us now or he lied in the primary. Either way, we can’t trust him.

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Poliquin
Retain coverage for pre-existing conditions. Allow moms/dads buy plans & keep doctors they want. Remove job-killing provisions. It’s a bad idea for the federal government to take over our health care industry. Although promised otherwise, thousands of frightened Mainers are losing their doctors and seeing their health insurance plans cancelled. Thousands more are suffering dramatic increases in their monthly insurance premiums, another broken promise from Washington. That's not right. Senior citizens are worried about the planned $716 billion cut from Medicare to help fund Obamacare for younger Americans - that's not fair. All Americans are paying higher taxes because of this big government takeover of our health care. Many small businesses in our 2nd Congressional District are discouraged from hiring full-time employees and are cutting weekly work hours to below 30 to avoid the law’s expensive mandates. Americans don’t trust handing over their personal health and financial information to a new government bureaucracy enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. One way to fix Obamacare is to allow moms/dads to shop across state lines to buy the health insurance they need to care for their kids and aging parents, at a price they can afford - just like purchasing automobile insurance across state lines. Small businesses should also be allowed to band together to buy coverage. That purchasing power would incentivize insurance companies to offer plans with varying coverage, co-pays, deductibles, and lower monthly premiums. Repealing the medical equipment tax under Obamacare would help ensure continued investment in new life-saving technology. Reforming medical malpractice laws could lower the cost of services charged by doctors and hospitals, thereby reducing the cost of health insurance. It’s important that health insurance plans are portable and cover pre-existing medical conditions so Maine workers are not tied to a specific job or employer in order to retain the insurance. We could make sure the coverage is explained in plain English so that consumers truly understand what they’re buying. For our fellow Mainers who cannot afford health insurance, high-risk pools and federal subsidies could assure coverage. Like everyone, I want every Maine family to have health insurance. However, it doesn’t make sense for the federal government to take over our private health care system while trying to get there. As we're seeing with Obamacare, that only leads to fewer health care choices and higher insurance premiums for our struggling families, and fewer jobs being created by our small businesses. We can do better. My opponent Emily Cain wants a single-payer health care system even more extreme than Obamacare. That big, intrusive government system would further limit health care choices and drive up costs and taxes for Maine families and hurt our seniors. In Congress, I’ll fight the special interests and lobbyists to help our 2nd District families be able to buy affordable health insurance that fits their needs with the doctors they choose, while providing sensible coverage for the most vulnerable fellow Mainers.

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Richardson
Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with a Free Market based Health Insurance System. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) needs to be fully repealed and then replaced by a Free Market based Health Insurance system. A few steps that would help a Free Market system would be to allow families to buy their insurance across State lines and to employee Tort reform.

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Do you support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United?

Cain
Yes There is too much money in politics. Corporations with the most money hold the most influence. I support overturning Citizens United. There is simply too much money in politics, and those corporations with the most money hold the most influence. This is not the way our government should run. It’s unfair to the working families of Maine and America. In the Legislature, I co-sponsored a Joint Resolution calling on Congress to support an amendment to the Constitution overturning the Citizens United decision, and I still support such an amendment today.

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Poliquin
No 1st Am. protects free speech for U.S. citizens individually and through civic, political, religious, workplace (union & businesses) The U.S. Constitution ensures our freedom and way of life. Members of Congress take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution.” In order to fulfill this profound responsibility, I will thoroughly research every issue that comes before me in Congress. I will use my business, government, educational, and life experiences to make the best decisions to uphold the Constitution and help my fellow 2nd District families. Supporting and defending the Constitution will include many opportunities for sound, mature judgment. The First Amendment includes our bedrock right to free speech. It appears that the Executive Branch violated this right by using the Internal Revenue Service to harass and intimidate Americans who hold different political views. If true, those responsible for this violation should be held accountable. Regarding political campaigns, full public disclosure of political donations is important to ensure the integrity of our government.

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Richardson
Yes It is not in the best interest for our Republic that corporations have more leverage than the average voter in the political process. We are seeing the affects of Citizen United right here in our own State. Hundreds of thousands and into the millions of dollars are being sent into our State by out of State "Super" PACs in an effort to sway elections. As Barry Goldwater said, "Our nation is facing a crisis of liberty if we do not control campaign expenditures. We must prove that elective offices are not for sale."

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Are Second Amendment rights properly balanced with the reality that gun violence is a growing public safety threat in the U.S.?

Cain
Yes I support the Second Amendment and like the majority of Mainers I support background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. I support the second amendment and the rights of gun owners. And like the majority of Mainers, including Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King, I support background checks to make sure we are keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. One of my opponents, Bruce Poliquin, is against even reasonable common sense steps to keep our communities safe.

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Poliquin
Yes We must uphold 2nd Am. to Constitution & protect Maine's hunting traditions. Must take steps to protect our neighborhoods & stop violence. I welcome the endorsement of the NRA because I'll protect our Second Amendment rights and Maine's long hunting and sporting traditions. To stop crime inflicted by fists, knives, guns, or any other means, we must focus on ensuring those who need treatment for mental illness get the help they need. We must end domestic violence, and prosecute domestic terrorism whenever and wherever it occurs. Maine residents have a long history of safe and law-abiding gun ownership. We have one of the highest rates of firearms possession and one of the lowest rates of gun violence. For generations, 2nd District families like my own have responsibly used firearms to enjoy our long tradition of hunting and target shooting, and to ensure the protection of our rights and property. I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and always have been. I still use my .22-caliber lever action Marlin rifle that I bought at age 14. The recent horrific beheading of a middle-aged woman at her workplace in Kansas is an important reminder for all Americans to remain vigilant. It appears that the assailant was deeply influenced by radical Islam. The butcher was stopped from killing another innocent woman by a law-abiding co-worker who was trained in the safe use of a firearm. During the past several years, there have been a number of other examples of lawful gun owners who have stopped mentally ill individuals or domestic terrorists from committing further gun violence. My opponent Emily Cain, who is not from Maine, does not understand or appreciate our long traditions of safe gun ownership and hunting. She has a dismal D rating from the NRA. Her extreme positions include wanting to restrict our Second Amendment rights. Emily Cain does not share the values of our 2nd District families.

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Richardson
Yes Yes, regulations on gun ownership is not the answer to curbing gun violence. Regulations on gun ownership is not the answer to curbing gun violence. As a person who supports, without compromise, the Second Amendment I oppose any additional regulations in the realm of gun ownership.

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Should the U.S. be less involved in international conflicts?

Cain
No We need to work in coalitions with other nations to defeat threats such as ISIS and address humanitarian crises. There are serious threats to American interests and to global security. We need to work in coalitions with other nations to defeat threats such as ISIS and address humanitarian crises, but we cannot afford to go it alone in international conflicts. I support US and allied airstrikes against ISIS, but I do not support the United States putting servicemembers on the ground directly in harm’s way. To defeat ISIS and protect US interests, Congress needs to stay at the table and work together with the President to determine the best path forward.

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Poliquin
No This is dangerous world.To be safe at home, America must build strong economy & lead effort to fight terrorism. Other countries must join us America is safest with a strong economy. More and better jobs generate the tax revenues needed to fund our national defense. And, a growing economy gives us the diplomatic leverage to help ensure our protection and freedoms. America is also safest when it helps lead the world. As a unique force for good, our nation should support democracy and capitalism in other countries struggling for their own freedoms and prosperity. Doing so will help prevent the poverty and hopelessness that breeds violence, some of which is inevitably directed at our homeland and interests abroad. Strong, purposeful American leadership does not mean becoming the world's policeman or committing U.S. troops to costly foreign wars. However, we should pro-actively disrupt global terror networks by providing peace-loving nations and allies with intelligence, military logistics and equipment, and outspoken diplomatic support. During the past few years, American foreign policy weakness has made us less safe. Our foes have taken advantage of Washington's uncertainty and on again/off again war on terror to further their interests at the expense of our security. Russia has invaded the Ukraine and threatened Western Europe's supply of oil and natural gas which could lead to another global recession and instability. The Obama Administration's refusal to help prevent the Syrian government from butchering 170,000 of its citizens has encouraged the growth of the radical ISIS terror group. ISIS now has a territorial foothold in northern Syria and Iraq, plenty of oil revenues, and sophisticated U.S. armaments captured from retreating Iraqi security forces. This emerging terrorist state could very well become a training ground and launching pad for attacks against our homeland. Washington's wavering efforts to prevent Iran from developing a usable nuclear weapon has allowed it to become closer to reality. To be safe at home, America must rebuild its economic strength and be clear about its foreign policy objectives. We must support our friends and allies across the globe in fighting radical terrorism that threatens our safety, prosperity, freedoms, and American way of life. Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states the paramount responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the common defense. Members of Congress are required to defend our country and its citizens and property. Before voting to commit our uniformed sons and daughters to military conflict, I will insist that the President as Commander-in-Chief explains the national security and military objectives of the action; when and how to exit the conflict; and what the financial cost is expected to be. In Congress, I will use my 35 years of creating jobs to help build a stronger economy. That will generate the tax revenues needed to fund our national defense and give us the economic leverage for an effective foreign policy. This is a serious time for our nation. America needs experienced leaders with mature judgment. My opponent Emily Cain has no experience creating jobs and growing the economy. Her extreme job-killing liberal policies in the Maine legislature have mirrored those of Nancy Pelosi in Washington. We need to put Maine and America on more prosperous path with more jobs and more freedom, not make the mess in Washington worse.

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Richardson
Yes Yes, between our national debt and our nation being war-weary it is time to pull back our involvement in so many international conflicts With a national debt of over seventeen trillion dollars and the majority of Americans expressing views of being war-weary, it is time for our national to be less involved in so many international conflicts. I have been a leading voice in calling for the end of American involvement in Afghanistan.

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Is the oversight that Congress currently provides the U.S.’s surveillance agencies sufficient to protect personal liberties?

Cain
No These agencies do very important work, but it is essential that our citizens’ personal liberties and freedoms are protected. Our government surveillance agencies do very important work that keeps us safe every day. However, as citizens of this country, we are constitutionally entitled to freedoms and rights that must be protected. For example, the government should not be listening in on the calls of law-abiding citizens. As a member of Congress I will stand up for the rights of my constituents and ensure that there are adequate checks and balances on government security agencies. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court oversees these surveillance agencies, but Congress needs to provide greater oversight to ensure that not only are we protected, but our rights are as well.

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Poliquin
Yes DC must balance surveillance of suspected terrorists w/ protection of citizens Constitutional rights. Congress should closely monitor. The rise of brutal terrorist groups around the world should put all Americans on alert, both here at home and those traveling or working abroad. Our federal, state, and local governments should be constantly watchful for threats against our homeland, either from within or from outside our borders. Our primary goal should be to prevent a terrorist attack on our homeland. In order to achieve this objective, the National Security Agency (NSA) has systematically tracked and collected emails, phone calls, and other communications from foreigners and U.S. citizens alike. Although aggressive counter-terrorism activities are necessary, Congress must ensure that the Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections of Americans against “unreasonable searches and seizures” and "due process of law" are not violated. If they have or are being violated, these activities must stop and other intelligence collecting methods found to keep Americans safe without infringing upon our Constitutional rights.

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Richardson
No No, in the last thirteen years we have seen a major decline in personal privacy thru the avenue of the Patriot Act. It should disturb every American that the federal government is recording and storing our emails, phone calls, text messages and those things we post on social media. Congress needs to reform the Patriot Act and the NDAA so that personal liberties, such as the ones guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment, are better protected.

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How would you preserve Social Security?

Cain
Maine seniors have the right to retire with dignity. Social Security is critical and I’ll protect it and block efforts to cut benefits. Social Security represents our society’s belief that if you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a secure retirement. It’s been there for countless Americans for nearly 80 years and I am committed to ensuring Social Security will be there for the next 80 years. I am opposed to privatizing Social Security or cutting benefits for retirees and have always stood up for Maine's seniors. In the Legislature, I have effectively prevented cuts to programs that help seniors, including the Drugs for the Elderly program, the Medicare Savings Program, and Meals on Wheels. One of my opponents, Bruce Poliquin, actually supports raising the retirement age for Social Security and says that Social Security and Medicare are “bankrupting the country.” In fact, he supports a budget that would end the Medicare guarantee. No one who spends their lives working for a living, serving their country, giving back to their community, or raising the next generation should have to live in poverty when they are older and unlike my opponents, I will work every day to ensure safety for our seniors by protecting Social Security and Medicare.

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Poliquin
NO CHANGES to Social Security benefits for seniors and near retirees. Seniors paid into system for many years and earned these benefits. Our critically important and popular Social Security and Medicare programs must be preserved and protected for our senior citizens. For decades, millions of seniors have paid taxes into these programs to ensure they will have basic retirement and health care security during their later years. These benefits must continue flowing with NO CHANGES. It's good news that Americans are living longer today. It's bad news that health care costs continue to rise. The overall United States population continues to age. Because Americans are living longer, and healthier, we must be careful not to allow their Social Security and Medicare benefits to run out. There are financial strains on the coveted Social Security and Medicare programs. $15 trillion more is owed in Social Security benefits than there is money currently available to pay those benefits. Another $36 trillion shortfall is owed for Medicare benefits. In addition to these huge long-term unfunded liabilities, annual spending on Social Security and Medicare consume 36% of all federal government outlays. Over the next ten years, spending on these two programs is projected to grow by 72% and 104%, respectively. To repeat, there should be NO CHANGES to the Social Security and Medicare benefits earned by and promised to our seniors. Additionally, we CAN save these retirement and health care programs for future generations while addressing our nation’s fiscal and jobs crises. To do so, reforms will need to be made for younger Americans just entering the workforce. In Congress, I look forward to help lead the initiative to provide more retirement and health care security for our 2nd District seniors while helping save Social Security and Medicare for future generations.

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Richardson
Social Security can only be preserved by reforming it. The short term solution to preserving Social Security is to make sure that Social Security is not running in a deficit. People who have paid into the system, should have their obligations fully met when they reach retirement age. The long term solution to preserving Social Security is to reform it in such a way so that young people have the ability to invest into a private retirement account instead of being forced into supporting the Social Security Administration.

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What type of infrastructure in Maine needs the greatest attention? i.e. Transportation, energy, etc.

Cain
Our roads, bridges, railways, airports and ports are the backbone of our economy. Transportation will be a top priority of mine in Congress. In Maine, we have a long history of exporting our goods – lobsters, blueberries, and potatoes, for example. Without a solid physical transportation infrastructure, transporting these goods becomes either more and more expensive, or simply impossible. All types of infrastructure are important, including our transportation infrastructure like roads, bridges, rails, and ports, as well as energy, broadband, and reliable cell phone service. Collectively, this infrastructure is vital to our district and our economy, and is why I would like to serve on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Congress.

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Poliquin
More Maine jobs created when goods/services better able reach customers. Gov't must help improve roads, bridges, rails, ports, pipelines and Our 2nd Congressional District is the largest geographic district east of the Mississippi River. Families and small businesses in rural western, central, northern, and Downeast Maine need to be connected to each other and beyond. Approximately 80% of Maine's commerce is transported over our highways, roads, and bridges. Much of this infrastructure is in poor condition causing costly car/truck repairs for our families and small businesses. This discourages business investment and job creation in Maine. New technologies are increasing the gas/diesel milage for our cars/trucks. That's healthy for our environment. It also reduces the tax revenues collected via gas/diesel sales used to repair our highways, roads, and bridges. Some public officials advocate for higher fuel taxes to fund these infrastructure improvements. I disagree. Maine families already pay the 18th highest gas tax in the nation, approximately 31 cents per gallon. That's about $8 out of our pockets and headed to Augusta and Washington with every 16-gallon fill-up. The better solution is to eliminate waste from the federal budget so we can fully fund our highways, roads, and bridges. Washington has a serious spending problem, not a tax revenue shortage. Using my 35 years of business experience, as State Treasurer, I realized the enormous positive impact that natural gas could have on job creation in Maine. I worked with Democrat, Republican, and Independent state legislators and other public officials to help lead the initiative for private companies to connect our mills, factories, hospitals, schools, government buildings, and other oil-burning structures to clean-burning American natural gas. Already, some of the largest employers in our 2nd Congressional District now have this alternative fuel to run their operations. Natural gas is also finding its way into more Maine homes. Long-term savings of burning natural gas instead of oil is estimated to be 40-50%. That could mean an average savings of $1,500 every winter to heat our homes. A clear difference between me and my opponent Emily Cain is that I want to fix our federal regulations to allow increased production and safe transportation of American natural gas to reduce the cost for our families, and to help our businesses grow and hire more workers. Emily Cain wants Washington to continue to prevent the construction of the XL Keystone Pipeline that would safely transport oil from friendly Canada to our Gulf Coast for refining, helping to lower the cost of gasoline and heating oil. She also supports a huge new tax on carbon, further driving up the expense of gas, heating oil, and electricity. Within the past year alone, once thriving paper mills in Bucksport, Old Town, and East Millinocket have closed. Nearly 1,000 fellow Mainers have lost or are about to lose good-paying jobs with benefits. Each mill cited the high cost of energy as a primary reason for not being able to survive. Emily Cain has no experience growing the economy or creating a single job. In fact, on Sunday, October 5, the Waterville Morning Sentinel reported that she has never held a full-time job. That helps explain why Emily Cain supports extreme policies that will increase gasoline, heating oil, kerosene, and electricity costs - killing jobs more and hurting more families. There are many places within western, central, northern, and Downeast Maine that have poor or no cell phone coverage. It's important for moms and dads to be able to reach their kids after soccer practice, or for elderly parents to be able to call for help if they're snowed in. Making business calls is often impossible on our country roads. This lack of basic cell phone connectivity impedes the growth of our small businesses and kills jobs. While in Congress, I'll use my three decades of business experience to help address federal regulations that could be preventing better cell phone and internet coverage throughout our 2nd District.

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Richardson
Energy Maine has lost many good paying jobs simply because the cost of energy in our State is far too high.

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What’s the worst thing about the federal government? How would you fix it?

Cain
Partisanship. We need less fighting and more leaders working together, which is what I’ve done in Augusta and what I’ll do in Washington. Partisanship. Personality politics and partisan gridlock in Washington are hurting our communities. While Congress won’t change overnight, change begins by electing people who come to the table and work together to find solutions. I am the only candidate in the race who has a record of working across the aisle and staying at the table to solve problems---whether it’s balancing tough budgets, breaking the cycle of domestic violence, supporting our seniors, veterans, and helping our small businesses expand and grow. That’s what I’ve done for 10 years in Augusta and that’s what I will do in Washington.

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Poliquin
Too many career politicians with no job creation experience like opponent Emily Cain. Proud of my 35 years growing economy & creating jobs. Strong and effective leaders must be committed to changing what isn't working and to accept the criticism that comes with those changes. Washington has too many career politicians primarily interested in getting elected or re-elected. Instead of doing what's right, they take the politically safe path and avoid addressing our serious challenges. They bicker and point fingers for political advantage. Our problems grow worse and our families suffer. My opponent Emily Cain and I are different in may ways. She is a partisan career state politician with no experience creating jobs. In fact, she has never held a full-time job. Her extreme liberal job-killing policies mirror those of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. She voted repeatedly to increase government spending; to expand welfare that led to Maine's recently paid-off $500 million hospital debt; and to raise taxes on the working poor. Emily Cain also supports a huge new carbon tax that will increase the cost of gasoline, heating oil, and electricity. She wants a single-payer government run health care system even more extreme than Obamacare. That would further restrict the health care choices for our moms/dads by causing the cancellation of more health insurance plans and losing more doctors and hospitals of choice. All of these extreme liberal policies would kill Maine jobs. I'm proud of my 35 years of growing the economy and creating jobs. One of our businesses helped manage the pension savings for workers at Bath Iron Works, one of Maine's largest manufacturer's. As a job creator, I learned how to negotiate, settle on the best deal, solve the problem, and move on to the next challenge. As Maine State Treasurer, I used those 35 years of real world experience to work diligently with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans to eliminate debt and wasteful spending that led to the largest income tax cut in Maine history, and more jobs. I worked hard with all sides to change the regulations that dramatically reduced the cost of affordable housing, thereby helping more disadvantaged Maine families. One of the tricks employed by career politicians is to personally attack their opponents in hopes of dodging their job-killing voting records. Not surprisingly, that strategy is being waged against me by my opponent Emily Cain and her agents. Even though I worked my way through college as a scholarship student, scrubbing toilets and painting metal roofs, I'm being attacked for my hard work and the blessings of my success - what we all want for our kids. I expect these disingenuous attacks to continue through election day. Even so, I will stay the course and contrast my 35 years of solving difficult problems and creating jobs with my opponent's extreme liberal record of bigger government, more welfare, more debt, and fewer jobs. The best way to fix the mess in Washington is for voters to elect more experienced job creators like me, and fewer partisan career politicians with no job creation experience like Emily Cain.

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Richardson
The worst thing about the federal government is that it has far excited its constitutional boundaries. The worst thing about the federal government is that it has far excited its constitutional boundaries. All families in the Second District would prosper if the federal government was scaled back to the boundaries laid out for it in the Founding documents.

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