The Bangor Daily News asked all of the gubernatorial candidates their positions on several issues of importance to Maine voters. In some cases, their answers have been edited or excerpted for space. For the complete responses, visit www.bangordailynews.com.
Flag burning amendment to the U.S. Constitution (2006):
I voted yes, and have long been a co-sponsor of this constitutional amendment.
Estate Tax Repeal (2006):
In the past I have supported repealing the estate tax. However, the current problem in determining whether to repeal the estate tax permanently is that our present budgetary outlook is far different than when we were predicting long-term federal surpluses. Therefore, I believe we should proceed cautiously.
Minimum wage increase to $7.25 (2006):
I voted for this twice, once as a stand-alone measure and once on a procedural vote to begin consideration of a bill to raise the minimum wage, permanently reduce the estate tax, and renew middle class tax cuts.
Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (2006):
In 2005 I twice voted to prevent ANWR drilling: co-sponsoring and voting for two amendments to strike ANWR drilling from the FY06 Budget Resolution and the Deficit Reduction Act.
Increased federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research (2006):
I supported this legislation, and was prepared to vote to override the president’s veto.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (2003):
I voted twice in favor of this legislation, both the Senate-passed bill and the conference report. I was a co-sponsor of the Senate version of this legislation.
Extend $70 billion in Bush administration tax cuts (2006):
I voted against the Deficit Reduction Act conference report – and, in fact, had been the single vote in the Finance Committee that prevented the committee from reporting that tax package. Although I supported some of the tax cuts in the bill, I opposed the inclusion of a two-year extension of capital gains and dividends tax cuts as fiscally irresponsible, given our deficits and the fact that they were not set to expire until 2009.
Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (2006):
I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and in 1996 I supported the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage for federal purposes as a union between a man and a woman. As the Defense of Marriage Act remains in effect, I believe that an amendment to the Constitution is unnecessary at this time.
Adoption (2001) and renewal (2005) of the USA Patriot Act:
I voted for both bills; I gave my support to the renewal legislation only after ensuring that privacy protections were added to the bill.
Including a health exception to the late-term abortion ban (2003):
I voted in favor of an amendment permitting late-term abortions in instances where two doctors determine that carrying the fetus to term would pose a risk of grievous injury to the life or health of the mother. I voted against a far broader health exception that would have been difficult to define or enforce.
Iraq War resolution (2002); funding for the war (2006); timetable for withdrawal (2006):
I voted for the resolution based on the totality of the information available to me at the time as assessed through the prism of the attacks of September 11;
I have voted to provide critical funding for our troops through the defense appropriations and supplemental spending bills. I believe it would be irresponsible to deny necessary funding to our troops when they are in harm’s way;
I supported amendments calling on the president to convene a summit to seek a comprehensive political agreement for Iraq. Rather than support measures that set a “date certain” for withdrawal of our troops, I co-sponsored an amendment that outlined four very specific conditions under which the authority to maintain U.S. troops in Iraq would expire.
Immigration reform (2006):
I voted in favor of the bipartisan, comprehensive immigration and border security legislation passed in the Senate this year.
Confirmations of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts (2005) and Samuel Alito (2006):
[Snowe supported both.] I did not come to my decision to support Judge Roberts lightly. After a careful review of his record, I found him to be a fair-minded judge with a deep respect for the rule of law, the independence of the courts, and the judicial method.
The nomination of Justice Alito presented me with a close and difficult decision. While I had several concerns with the nomination, history has consistently demonstrated that predicting how a justice will rule on a particular case is inherently unreliable.