Seth M. Baker

Seth M. Baker

Seth M. Baker

Green Independent candidate for Maine Senate District 27 from Portland

Running against Benjamin M. Chipman and Adam M. Pontius. 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 with its social services, fighting poverty should be a top priority. The type of reform we need is less bureaucracy so we can provide more services to those in need.

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

I do not support sales tax increases, they are regressive and hurt low income people the most. I support a more progressive income tax to increase government revenue.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I support it and the right of adults to use marijuana on their own time. I do think we need to keep an eye on legalization to make sure it's not a total free for all make sure it not a spectacle for tourism

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)

Yes and in general I support shifting more of the tax burden to higher income earners. Our top tax rate starts in the low 20,000s and that needs to be shifted up.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Yes as a matter of fairness, all gun sales should require a background check.

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

Yes

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Yes I support this measure as the first step for a $15 an hour minimum wage statewide. I also support eliminating the sub minimum tipped wage.

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)

I strongly support this measure and think it will improve our democracy by giving voters more choices. I dislike how the media labels spoilers in races with more than two canidates and feel this measure will help independent and 3rd party candidates have a fairer chance.

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 should prioritize treatment and harm reduction. All personal possession should be decriminalized, it's irresponsible to label people with drug problems criminals and hurt their future employment prospects.

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?

Yes they should continue to be elected by our Legislature.

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

The size is appropriate and we should increase the pay to encourage more working people 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 support removing elected officials who engage in bigoted speech. Our country has a long history of racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of prejudices and unless we acknowledge this we can never make serious progress. Elected office is no place for people who look down on people, we need our elected officials to fight for a society that works for everybody.

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

Candidate did not answer this question.

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

No I would not, casinos are not the type of economic growth we need.

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

The post NAFTA economy and deindustrialization has been extremely harmful to our great state. Sadly in the past 30 years or so both parties have bought into this trickle down economic myth that has done very little to help our economy and has led to grotesque inequality and stagnant wages. First and foremost we need to stop trying to lure companies by just giving them tax breaks and asking for nothing in return. We certainly should be negotiating with the private sector but any deal the state makes should include employment figures and livable wages. Secondly we should also work to incentivize the creation of local worker owned businesses. We can build stronger local economies throughout Maine by giving workers more control.

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 should be working with the federal government to bring in as many refugees as we can. The United State has a moral obligation to help refugees fleeing countries like Syria and Maine can benefit from welcoming them into our communities.

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

The housing crisis in greater Portland. Its shameful that the part of the state with the best economy has out of control rent increases and is actively displacing people who are not rich or upper middle class. The state should encouraging rent stabilization for all of Maine so the problem doesn't spread further.