Mark Andre

Mark Andre

Mark Andre

Republican candidate for Maine House District 110 from Oakland

Running against Colleen M. Madigan. View your ballot →

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

The easy answer is yes, but how to solve the problem more difficult. Once a service or benefit is initiated, it hurts someone to take it away. Improving our state's economy is the best way to remedy this problem and hurts no one in the process.

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

Yes, but not to include basic necessities such as grocery purchases. Lowering state income tax levels would encourage business and job growth in our state. Expanding the tax base will ultimately lead to lower taxes for all Maine residents. In addition, Maine is the Vacation State and sales taxes, unlike income taxes, are paid by visitors to our state. In fairness, visitors to Maine should contribute to preserving the resources they come here to enjoy.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

No response.

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)

For the same reasons stated in question #2.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Constitutional issues aside, I believe the enforcement of the provisions of the proposed law would be difficult and result in the unfair prosecution of many law abiding citizens. A sentiment reflected by many of Maine's law enforcement officers.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Regarding the portion of the question that pertains to restaurant employees, many such employees already make well more than the minimum wage and, in some cases, passage of this law might negatively effect wait staffs net income by lowering patrons willingness to tip. Just ask any wait staff the difference in average tip levels between U.S. and Canadian citizens.

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)

No response.

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?

No. There must be an equal effort on both these fronts.

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?

There are enough political signs in our neighborhoods already. No, I favor the current system of indirect appointment.

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

Yes to the question of size. The small legislative districts in our state make it possible for a candidate to run for office with little or no funding and still get there message out to every resident in their district. I believe this is important to our democratic system of government. No I do not favor raising the pay for legislators, that's not why I'm running for office and I don't intend to be a career politician.

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

That's not a job for the legislature but for voters. Believe there are already sufficient recall provisions in place for constituents of a given elected official to address this problem, however, if said provisions are inadequate I would be open to sponsoring such a bill. There is no place for discrimination in our government, but the ultimate decision as to what constitutes the crossing of this line must lie with voters.

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

No, I support the rights of workers to collectively bargain through unions and believe that beneficiaries of those negotiated contracts should contribute equally. I do not, however, support mandatory contributions to union PACs, which in many cases, support political goals that are contrary to the beliefs of their members. The proposals by many Democratic candidates for office to close coal mines in West Virginia is a perfect example of this concept in action. Despite these politicians complete disregard for the traditions and sense of dignity embodied by generations of coal miners, they continue to receive union PAC funding. If union PACs want their memberships support, they should have to earn it.

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

No

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

High Taxes and burdensome regulation.

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?

Institute pro-growth policies, such as lower taxation and reduced regulation that encourage businesses and new residents to want to move to our state.

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

For my specific House District, Waterville and Oakland, rising property taxes among the greatest challenges facing residents in the district. As large anchor businesses have moved on, as in Madison, residents are left to shoulder the tax burden left behind. As a result of this, there has been an exodus of residents to outlying towns with lower tax rates, worsening the problem for those residents who remain. Waterville's mayor, Nick Isgro, is doing all he can to arrest this problem by reducing Waterville's municipal spending and promoting pro-growth policies, As State Representative, I will assist Mayor Isgro in any way possible to reduce the property tax burden on our residents and help restore prosperity to Waterville.