Bryan P. Cutchen

Bryan P. Cutchen

Bryan P. Cutchen

Republican candidate for Maine Senate District 14 from West Gardiner

Running against Shenna Bellows and Joseph J. Pietroski. View your ballot →

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

Maine provides social services as determined by the people of Maine through their elected officials. I would first advocate we reform our existing social services system to eliminate fraud and waste to ensure it is operating in accordance with law and regulations. As a candidate, I support a social service system which is focused to get citizens back in the workforce.

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

Your question oversimplifies the issue. I am focused on reducing the total tax burden on Maine citizens, particularly our seniors, and making Maine a more business friendly state. I believe much can be done by ensuring state government is run at maximum efficiency with minimum waste. In general, I support a consumption tax vs. an income tax because it encourages savings. But again, any action on taxes must take a comprehensive look at the impact on Maine citizens.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The referendum does not provide answers to problems encounter by states which have recently passed similar laws, to include children accidentally consuming marijuana-laced food/candy and the inability to test for driving while impaired or working under the influence.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The tax would be a negative incentive for professionals and small businesses to move to Maine, particularly medical professionals, where we are already experience significant shortages. I would support reforming our education system before providing additional funds. Our spending per student is already one of the highest in the nation. This referendum effort is funded primarily by out of state money. I would prefer to see the people of Maine demonstrate their support for this issue by funding the campaign for it from within.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

This referendum is poorly written and funded by out of state money to address a problem Maine does not have. It would be better to focus instead on making the existing NCIS database more complete by insuring it contains records of those individuals with mental health issues.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

It is a disincentive to small business to start up or expand in Maine. The minimum wage is just that, a minimum starting point for entry level workers or season/student workers. The market will drive wages depending on the availability of labor.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

First, it is unconstitutional. If you support ranked-choice voting, then amend the constitution through the legislative process. Second, it is expensive and more complex for the citizens of Maine. If the people of Maine overwhelming support a majority vote to win, my preference would be a run off election.

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?

Again, an oversimplified question from the BDN. To combat the drug problem in Maine, we cannot focus solely on the supply, transit or demand strategy. We must address each aspect. Once the outcomes and goals are defined we can determine what resources are needed to close the gap in funding. Without a comprehensive drug strategy, we are just wasting money.

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?

By the legislature. To further politicize these positions would hinder, not help the state government process.

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

I believe you could reduce the size of the legislature and direct the savings increase the pay to enable and encourage more citizens to run for office.

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

I would support amending the constitution to provide for a process to censure an elected official who violates published ethical guidelines.

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

Yes.

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

I would support legislation which would go through bipartisan debate but not a ballot question.

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

Cumbersome permitting and regulation. Maine needs to process permits more quickly and ease the regulatory burden.

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?

Create an environment which attracts business and creates a job demand which will bring more people to Maine to work, not burden social services.

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

You've hit on the two most important, stopping the drug crisis and creating jobs. These two will address the biggest second order issue we face: many of our children reporting to school not ready to learn. An intact family, with an employed breadwinner, in a drug free home environment, is the best way to ensure our children have the best possible opportunity to succeed. They are our future and raising young adults with a strong work ethic, sense of personal responsibility and strong core values is our primary mission as parents.