Sonja Sleeper

Sonja Sleeper

Sonja Sleeper

Republican candidate for Maine House District 92 from South Thomaston

Running against John Alden Spear. View your ballot →

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

Trick question, a lot of benefits offered are federally funded and for the State to receive these funds rules have to be followed. There are programs which offer options at the states expense so increasing or decreasing would be irrelevant for some programs and those within the states control would have to be evaluated based upon need and effectiveness. If it came before the legislature, I would of course give the matter all due consideration.

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

I would have to say no, it sounds good to lower income tax and raise sales tax but the ratio may be a concern. How much higher or lower? Sales tax increases the cost of goods, lower income tax means more in the paycheck but if more income means less spending power it is a wash or worse costing more. Now if the were to shorten the list of items being taxed such as the recent expansion on basic cable, phone and baked goods well it would be worth thinking about. I follow the philosophy that it is not the governments money to demand but request.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Just ticking a box and not my answer as this is a ballot question and I will keep my vote private.

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)

Again Just ticking a box and not my answer as this is a ballot question and I will keep my vote private.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required)

Again Just ticking a box and not my answer as this is a ballot question and I will keep my vote private.

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

No

Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Again Just ticking a box and not my answer as this is a ballot question and I will keep my vote private.

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)

Again Just ticking a box and not my answer as this is a ballot question and I will keep my vote private.

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?

To general a question - Law enforcement is underfunded according to all reports, taking money from Peter to pay Paul is always going to be controversial. With all the coverage in the news regarding deaths and treatment funding I have yet to see any information on the scale of addiction, how many drug users are there what drugs, and what percentage of the population? Further , my understanding of Suboxone and Methadone is that they are far more addictive than heroine, which back in the day was developed to counter addition to morphine. I have more questions and am in no way able to render an opion and would need to study the matter more.

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 have no opinion on this, I have seen it in action in other states and it seems to be more problematic, voters have a tough time deciding on a representative let alone debating the qualifications of an attorney general, auditor or treasurer.

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

New one on me, I will let you know. As for pay couldn't say don't have the job yet.

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

Unable to answer this one would have to hear the comment and understand it in context - Would also want to know what you mean by sanctioning is that a fine, a boo, hiss or vote saying you did bad?

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

Tricky this one too many situations - In general I would say yes, as I am for individuals right to decide for themselves and not really a fan of unions.

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

The jury is still out on just what benefit it is for the state and individuals and I worry a bit about going after something because it means easy money.

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

Low population and the high cost of living. Low population limits opportunities for businesses who operate on a large scale. The high cost of goods and services hamper investment in smaller scale, i.e. it costs to much to start a business. In many areas, cottage industry is the only solution, for that would need minimal infrastructure development - transportation and internet. What can the legislature do? Not sure what can be done, I believe the solution is a local one, not regional or state. At the state level, taxes can be reduced, the funding formula adjusted, permitting processes streamlined or clarified, and changes to property tax and valuations.

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?

Way to complicated a question, not sure if it is the states business to address the demographics of a population, or if they could. Basically people would have to want to move here and have a reason to stay. They would need a way to earn income, have a place to live and be able to put food on the table. Right now not too many job opportunities and those that are available are limited as to income A more appropriate question would be what do we want our state to be in 10 or twenty years - then work towards that goal.

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

The conflict between urban and rural areas.