The Bangor Daily News asked all of the congressional candidates their positions on several issues handled by Congress in recent years. The date in parenthesis indicates year Congress last dealt with the issue. In some cases, their answers have been edited or excerpted for space. For the complete responses, visit www.bangordailynews.com.
Flag-burning amendment (2006):
I do not support flag-burning. It is a national symbol and should be protected as such.
Estate Tax Repeal (2006):
I am against a tax of any type. I would have voted to repeal it because it is an unfair tax. It hurts those who are left behind.
Minimum wage increase to $7.25 (2006):
I do not support this increase. Every time the minimum wage increases, it is accompanied by a rise in the cost of living. In the long run, the wage increase is lost in the higher cost of living. Ultimately it makes it more difficult for a small-business owner to hire the workers who need the jobs in the first place.
Opening the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (2006):
I would like the United States less dependent on foreign oil. The higher priority is to develop long-term, alternative energy sources that are not linked to the volatile oil markets.
Increased federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (2006):
Current research indicates the stem cells needed for this research can be derived from a number of sources. With alternative sources of genetic material available, using human embryos is unnecessary. I do not believe in funding embryonic stem cell research.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (2003):
I believe we need to take care of our senior citizens. They have been contributing to our country for their entire lives, and the standard of living we currently enjoy is due to their efforts and their ethics. We must not abandon them in their hour of need when they need our help to maintain their health and standard of living.
Extend $70 billion in Bush administration tax cuts (2006):
History has shown that tax cuts lead to increased revenues for everyone.
Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (2006):
I would have voted for this amendment. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
Adoption (2001)-renewal (2005) of the USA Patriot Act:
Since the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, there has not been a single successful terrorist attack in the United States, and several attacks have been prevented. American lives have been saved due to the Patriot Act, and I support it.
Including a health exception to the late-term abortion ban (2003):
The term “health” has been used very broadly to include physical, emotional, mental and social health, making this issue a complicated one to discern. I believe, through my own personal experiences, that abortion should not be used as a form of birth control except to preserve the life of the mother regardless of the term of the unborn child.
Iraq War resolution (2002); funding for the war (2006); timetable for withdrawal (2006):
No one wants to be at war, and we all want our troops to return home safely. Terrorism knows no boundary, and there is a concentration of terrorist activity in Iraq that is victimizing the Iraqi people. Leaving Iraq before their government has been stabilized would be to abandon the Iraqi people to the terrorists and to the violence of anarchy.
This is not something to which a specific timetable or price tag can be assigned. While our soldiers are there, we must equip them to adequately protect themselves. In discussing supporting the military of his day, Abraham Lincoln stated, “Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.”
Immigration reform (2006):
One out of 12 illegal immigrants has a violent, criminal history. The laws that are on the books need to be enforced before anything should be reformed.