Race for Maine Senate District 17

in the 2016 General Election

Joanne F. Dunlap

Joanne F. Dunlap

5,280 (27.58%)

Democratic - Rangeley Plt

Candidate profile

Thomas B. Saviello

Thomas B. Saviello

13,867 (72.42%)

Republican - Wilton

Candidate profile

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

Dunlap
Maine is far from too generous. Maine residents who need help are more likely to be called lazy than to get services that could enable them to become productive citizens(provide a mother with toddlers to work with child care!)

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Saviello
I would expand Mainecare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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Do you support expanding or raising the sales tax to lower the state income tax? Why or why not?

Dunlap
I do NOT support lowering the state income tax. Income tax is a non -regressive tax, based on 'ability to pay',income! Lowering this raises both sales and property tax which are both regressive taxes and are more of a burden for those with lower income.

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Saviello
I support any effort that will reduce property tax.

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Do you support marijuana legalization in Maine, as outlined in Question 1?

Dunlap
Yes

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Saviello
Yes

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dunlap
No response.

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Saviello
Unfortunately marijuana is already here in the State. So it is time we control it and tax it.

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Do you support raising taxes on Mainers with incomes above $200,000 to increase state aid to education, as outlined in Question 2?

Dunlap
Yes

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Saviello
No

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dunlap
No response.

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Saviello
I believe this petition as written is unconstitutional. It by-passes the legislature in allocating state tax dollars to the school budget without going through the Appropriations. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this citizen petition would violate that oath.

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Do you support universal background checks for firearm sales, as outlined in Question 3?

Saviello
No

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dunlap
No response.

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Saviello
I believe this ballot question as written is unconstitutional. The Maine Constitution says Maine citizens have the right to bear arms and this right shall never be questioned. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this citizen petition would violate that oath.

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Should Maine raise its minimum wage, as outlined in Question 4?

Dunlap
Yes

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Saviello
No

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Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Dunlap
No response.

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Saviello
The minimum wage should be increased to $10 per hour not $12. I pay $10 per hour to my employees that work at my small antique shop. Additionally, there needs to be a seasonal wage and a training wage. This petition does not have provisions for these two wages.

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Do you support the initiative to use ranked-choice voting to elect state and federal officials in Maine, as outlined in Question 5?

Dunlap
Yes

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Saviello
No

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Dunlap
No response.

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Saviello
I believe this ballot question as written is unconstitutional. The Maine Constitution identifies an election winner as the one that gathers the most of votes. I took a pledge to support and uphold the Maine constitution. Voting for this ballot question would violate that oath.

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Should Maine prioritize law enforcement efforts to intercept drug traffickers over expanding access to substance abuse treatment, such those that incorporates medications like methadone and Suboxone?

Dunlap
This should NOT be an either/or question; both are important.

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Saviello
It cannot be one or the other. We can defeat the substance abuse crisis by using enforcement, treatment, counseling and education.

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Should Maines constitutional officers -- the secretary of state, the attorney general, auditor and the treasurer -- continue to be elected by the Legislature or by statewide popular vote?

Dunlap
Yes, continue to be elected by the legislature.

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Saviello
No.

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Is the size of Maines Legislature appropriate? Should the pay for legislative service be increased?

Dunlap
Maine is a large state with a diverse population, to represent them all well, I think the size of the Legislature is appropriate. I don't know about the pay, I do not believe it should be so low no one can afford to do the job.

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Saviello
Yes it is the proper size. If the size is reduced rural Maine will voice will be lost in Augusta. No the pay should not be increase. In fact it should be decreased.

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Would you support sanctioning another elected official if he or she made public comments or statements that were considered racist, offensive or prejudicial?

Dunlap
YES

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Saviello
Why do you limit this question to only elected officials? Anyone who makes public comments that are racial, offensive or prejudicial should be sanctioned. But before any sanctioning takes place the whole story needs to be told and not just what one reads in the newspapers.

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Would you support a so-called right to work law in Maine?

Saviello
No. This should be part of any collective bargaining agreement.

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Would you support legislation or a ballot question to allow more casinos in Maine?

Saviello
I would support this ballot question if and only if the harness racing industry and agricultural fairs benefit from the additional casino income.

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What is the biggest barrier to economic development in Maine and what can the Legislature do to address it?

Dunlap
We need to be open to 'new' types of economic growth (computer based business, solar power, off shore wind farms, technology based business)and let go of the old mills. Some mills may survive but propping them up with tax rebates is feeding a dying horse. Smaller, environmentally friendly business should be encouraged as well as small farms (we can feed New England if we work at helping the next generation farmers)

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Saviello
Energy costs. We need to look at the cost to deliver energy: Transmission and Distribution cost. We need to understand why they are so high. Additionally we need remove any barriers to the development of micro electrical grids that could be developed around biomass electric generating plants in rural areas.

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Census data show Maines population is aging and decreasing, with some economists suggesting that immigration is the best way to reverse those trends. What should the state do to address this demographic trend?

Dunlap
Immigration is a very good way to rapidly increase the younger population and bring new energy into the state.

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Saviello
Immigration efforts can help. But we also need to work to bring our kids back home. This can be done by reducing our energy costs and encouraging more manufacturing to stay in and come to Maine.

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What is the most pressing issue in Maine these questions have not addressed?

Dunlap
Education. Maine needs to support its schools.

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Saviello
Welfare reform.

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