Andrew J. McLean

Andrew J. McLean

Andrew J. McLean

Democratic candidate for Maine House District 27 from Gorham

Running against James D. Means. View your ballot →

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

Growing up in a working class family, my parents taught me the value of hard work from an early age. They also taught me that it is important to help people who need a hand up. Our welfare system is designed to do just that - provide a hand up not a hand out. We must ensure its success in transitioning people from welfare to work. It is also important to understand that thousands of Mainers struggle to provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families on a daily basis, and need assistance from time to time, for reasons out of their control. We need to reform our welfare system in a way that does not demonize people, but lifts them up and out of poverty; that incentivizes work and holds people accountable for gaming the system.

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

I support a comprehensive, bipartisan approach to tax reform. The way to fix our tax system is not raise or lower one individual tax, but to completely overhaul our tax system to encourage economic growth, entrepreneurship and job creation.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I continue to listen to those who advocate for the legalization of marijuana and to those who work with patients who struggle with drug addiction and abuse. I support medical marijuana, but I do not support the legalization of marijuana at this time.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

No response.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

No response.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

I support raising Maines minimum wage. Im proud to have voted to do so this past year. Too many Mainers are struggling to support their families with jobs that dont pay a livable wage for a hard days work. I believe we need an economy that works for everyone - not just those at the very top. When working people have more money in their pockets, they spend it locally supporting our small businesses and our local economy.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

In nine out of the last eleven gubernatorial elections, a winner has been elected without a majority. Ranked choice voting ensures that any elected official who wins is not opposed by a majority. It will provide more voice and more choice to voters, increase civility and create a more predictable and stable business and political climate in Maine.

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?

We need a comprehensive approach to our drug epidemic. Enforcement is one piece, but we also need to ensure that those are struggling with addiction are able to access the resources and treatment they need to get better.

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?

I am in favor of keeping our current system.

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

The size of our Legislature is governed by our Constitution, however if there was a bipartisan proposal to reduce the size of the Legislature, I would consider it on its merits.

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

Yes. In a civil society, and especially as elected leaders, there is no place for this kind of language or behavior.

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

No.

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

I remain open this conversation, but I believe there is a limited capacity for casinos in our state.

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

We need comprehensive tax reform that encourages sustainable growth and we need to invest in the areas of our economy that create jobs: renewable energy, infrastructure, education and workforce training/development.

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?

We need to encourage more young people to move to Maine, and that includes talented people from away. Whether they are teachers, doctors or lawyers, many of the immigrants who have come to Maine bring invaluable skills that they have developed in other countries. This idea is supported by the Maine Chamber of Commerce. Our world is changing very fast and we need to keep up with the changing marketplace. Investing in these communities, ensuring they are able to put their skills to use in Maine, and investing in our physical and human infrastructure would begin to stem the tide.

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

The most pressing issue in Maine is our short term vision. When making policy, too often we focus on what will make a difference in the next year or two. We need to be crafting policy that will guide us for the next 20-30 years. If we are able to come together and develop policies that grow our economy sustainably and predictably, we will slowly right Maine's economic ship and set us on a path for sustained growth long into the future. These policies include investing in our infrastructure - our energy and transportation systems, investing in our human capital - our people and education systems and finally, reforming our tax system so that we can encourage growth.