Tom J. Winsor

Tom J. Winsor

Tom J. Winsor

Republican candidate for Maine House District 71 from Norway

Running against Michael W. Twitchell. View your ballot →

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

I think some benefits are too generous, and some are not. I think that we should continually compare our benefits to our sister states to insure that our welfare programs are similar with theirs. If the percent of our population receiving benefits is out of line with other states with similar economies then we should align programs to theirs.

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

The LePage plan to lower or eliminate the income tax is an important thing to have a serious discussion about. Maines overall taxing as a percent of our collective incomes is high compared with other states. How we pay for government services is always a very emotional subject.. Eliminating the tax on income and replacing the revenue with tax on consumption is worthy goal, and may be important as a growing percentage of our aging our population no longer has a taxable income.

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


Please explain your answer. (Not required)

We all acknowledge that addiction is a serious issue in Maine, while at the same time we are talking about allowing the recreational use of another powerful drug. My concern is the message we are sending to your children and mine about the use of an drug that alters emotions while we have little understanding of the long term consequences of its use. We have spent billions of dollars to deal with the results of prescribed opiates, alcohol, and tobacco products. The social and medical costs of these safe to use products continues to be high. Reports from Colorado and Washington States are mixed. The law enforcement communities there feel ill-equipped to deal with impaired driving, workplace issues, infused candy like products and so on. I think we should reject this proposal now and wait for a few more years to see how this experiment in other states plays out.

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


Please explain your answer. (Not required)

I think this is a bad idea for several reasons. First doing tax law by referendum is bad policy. Just the fact we could vote a tax surcharge on one group of people will discourage economic investment in Maine. Investors like consistency and predictability of government policy before they will invest in a factory or hire more people.

Second taxing a group of people who are already paying a high percentage of all income tax collected in Maine is just unfair and will discourage those talented and productive folks from moving to or remaining in Maine.

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


Please explain your answer. (Not required)

The Maine Constitution Article 1 section 16 reads: To Keep and Bear arms. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.

It seems rather odd to me that to exercise a right which is guaranteed to all Maine Citizens would require some sort of test. Background checks do not screen for mental illness, for those who hold political or religious views advocating violence . This is government intrusion on the freedoms we should hold dear - the right of privacy and the right to hold and acquire private property.

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


Please explain your answer. (Not required.)

Increasing the minimum wage may seem like a good thing to do, but I really havent seen it do much good except in the short term. The last time we did this I observed that the increase limited the opportunity for new workers and young people to get entry level job experience. This bill will also significantly change the way that the hospitality industry compensates wait staff by eliminating the tip credit. I suspect the ability these workers to receive tips will be reduced so they will work longer hours for less money in their pocket

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


Please explain your answer. (Not required)

It is simply against the Maine Constitution.

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?

We have to make it so expensive (risky) for dealer to bring their poison into Maine that they will stop trying. We also have to develop treatment options for those are addicted who want to become drug free.

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 am not ready to vote for this.

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

The danger of decreasing the size of the house and increasing the pay is that we could create a professional legislature rather than one made up of your neighbors. I am not a fan of this, but try to have an open mind

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

Free speech is important part of our culture even if it is racist, offensive, or prejudicial.

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


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

I am from Oxford County. No!

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

I think that we need to stop changing the rules every two years. I believe investors like to understand the rules, and believe that the rules will remain constant over a long period.

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?

Immigration was good for this state when our economy was expanding, and we had a surplus of jobs. People moved here to fill those jobs and for the most part followed the rules to get here and then quickly assimilated into existing communities. I am not sure how we can replicate this in todays economic conditions.

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

The most pressing issue today remains to have an economy that will provide a private sector job for anyone who wants it.