Race for Maine Senate District 23

in the 2016 General Election

Guy M. Lebida

Guy M. Lebida

10,681 (47.24%)

Republican - Bowdoin

Candidate profile

Eloise A. Vitelli

Eloise A. Vitelli

11,927 (52.76%)

Democratic - Arrowsic

Candidate profile

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

Vitelli
NO.We've reduced the number of individuals receiving SNAP even as food insecurity remains a growing concern, especially among children. We need to expand Medicaid and restore services to the mentally ill and disabled.

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

Vitelli
I support broadening the sales tax; we need to assure our tax structure is fair and balanced and does not rely too heavily on one leg of the three legged stool - income, sales and property tax.

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

Vitelli
Yes

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Vitelli
It makes sense to decriminalize marijuana. My concerns are for clear and enforceable regulations, education that will keep children and all those under 21 from gaining access. The law is complex; I am not sure the DACF is the right place for implementation.

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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?

Vitelli
Yes

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Vitelli
We need to fully fund our schools and ensure that every child has access to a quality education no matter where they live. We also need to take some of the pressure off property taxes which unduly impact those in fixed incomes and undermine support for public education.

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

Vitelli
Yes

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Vitelli
We may need to clarify sections of the law to make sure we are not creating confusion and

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

Vitelli
Yes

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Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Vitelli
No one who works full time should live in poverty. It is time to raise the minimum wage; 90,000 women, many single mothers, will be better off.

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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?

Vitelli
Yes

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Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Vitelli
No response.

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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?

Vitelli
We need all three efforts to be increased: prevention and treatment and law enforcement. We seem to be lagging on the treatment and prevention sides.

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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?

Vitelli
the current system has worked well; I would be willing to look at alternatives in a thoughtful manner.

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

Vitelli
I would like to look at alternative suggestions and weigh closely the pros and cons. I think the small districts keep our elected officials close to their constituents so something would be lost by increasing the size.

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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?

Vitelli
As elected officials we all should be held to the highest standards of civility, decorum and should behave in a manner that is respectful of others and upholds our nation's values of equality and justice. There should be consequences for not doing so.

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

Vitelli
No

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

Vitelli
Not sure - I would have to study this issue and what policy or planning currently sets the context for additional casinos.

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

Vitelli
Lack of leadership and a positive spokesperson. We need leaders who promote our assets - our people, place and institutions, in a positive, forward looking fashion. We need to celebrate and support the entrepreneurial activity and energy that exists in this state already. We need to improve our infrastructure - roads, bridges, ports, real and most importantly, broadband so the economic activity of Maine people can reach markets.

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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?

Vitelli
we need to welcome immigrants and newcomers to our state; we need to increase efforts to attract our own young people to come back to Maine.( (Live and Work in Maine) See answer to Q 14 - we need to promote our state as the great place it is to live work and raise a family.

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

Vitelli
Energy. We need a broad based energy policy that sets clear goals for renewables, efficiencies and reduction of environmental impacts and that includes solar, wind, biofuels, and other sources.

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