Scott W. Cuddy

Scott W. Cuddy

Scott W. Cuddy

Democratic candidate for Maine House District 98 from Winterport

Running against James S. Gillway. View your ballot →

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

Maine is not too generous. We need to take care of the most vulnerable people in the state. I'm glad there are more fraud investigators, because no one should be allowed to collect benefits that they don't qualify for. I would also like to see more aggressive action taken against providers who break the law, for example, a pharmacist who overcharges MaineCare.

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

The sales tax is extremely regressive, meaning that it hits the poorest the hardest. Lowering taxes for the wealthy by taking more money from the poor is bad policy. I do support efforts to shift the burden of taxation from Mainers to tourists who come to visit our great state, but a blanket raising of the sales tax would do more harm than good.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

People deserve the right to decide if this is something they want to do. Legal recreational Marijuana has provided significant tax revenue in Colorado, with limited negative consequences. This revenue could be used to improve school funding and thereby decrease the pressure on local property taxes.

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)

The state has chronically underfunded schools, while at the same time shifting more costs onto local districts. This is hurting children, property taxpayers, and teachers. The legislature has shown it is incapable of addressing this issue in a positive way, so it is up to the people to lead the way. RSU #22 would have received nearly $1.8 million more from the state, which would have allowed the school system to ask for less from the towns, thereby allowing the towns to decide to improve services or cut property taxes.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The law is clear and simple. We know that background checks work to save lives. We know that in states where this loophole has been closed there are fewer deaths from suicide and domestic violence, as well as fewer law enforcement officers killed, the two leading causes of gun deaths in Maine. It is a limited inconvenience to save a lot of lives.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

People have waited far too long for this. $7.50 is ridiculous. The Republicans shot down a fifty cent raise in the minimum wage, and now the people of Maine will get what they deserve, a fair wage that will go up as the cost of living increases. More money in the hands of those who have the least means more money being spent, too. Businesses will see the benefit of increased sales, and Mainers will see the benefit of being better able to care for their families.

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)

9 of the last 11 elections in Maine have been won by someone who didn't get a majority. Democrats, Independents, and Republicans have ALL won this way. This is not a partisan issue. The people deserve to be governed by officials who were elected by a majority of Mainers voting. There will be less partisanship, more candidates will have a real chance of competing, and the voters will be able to vote for the candidate they like best, not just try to keep the worst one from winning.

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?

Maine can, and in fact must, do both. Furthermore we must educate our kids to keep them away from illegal drugs, as well as educate our prescribing physicians to make certain painkillers aren't acting as the real gateway drugs.

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?

This isn't an issue I've encountered before. I'd be willing to have a discussion about this, as the will of the people is what must be followed in government. I would need to learn the background for why we do it this way now.

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

Having two houses with different size districts (Senate and House) is good for Maine. We get very specific representation from House members who have smaller districts, and the Senate tends to take a broader view because they often have widely varying geographical areas within their districts.

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

Absolutely.

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

Never. Right-To-Work-For-Less is an attempt to weaken unions, pure and simple. You cannot be forced to join a union right now, so these laws have nothing to do with a right to work. These laws do nothing but give some people access to union protections, wages and benefits, and representation without having to pay for any of those benefits.

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

I would not at this time.

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

The biggest barrier is the lack of research and development spending by the state, coupled with a focus on attracting large, out-of-state businesses instead of trying to grow the businesses that are already here.

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?

Encouraging immigration is necessary for Maine to prosper. We do not have the population necessary to maintain the employee base to fill positions that we have now, and it is only getting worse as time progresses.

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

The ongoing shift of responsibilities from the state to municipalities. Unfunded mandates, tax shifts, teacher retirement costs, and now the cost of school district administration all add costs to towns. Additionally, cuts in revenue sharing and general purpose aid to education leave towns with fewer funding options then they've ever had. All of this combines to place a heavier and heavier burden on the property tax payer. The state needs to take care of it's own business.