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 would have voted against this amendment. Burning the flag is an act deplored by many, yet it is a form of expression and, as such, it is protected by the First Amendment.
Estate Tax Repeal (2006):
I would have voted against repealing the estate tax. This tax is levied on the top 1 percent in this country and raised much-needed revenue. When this issue has come up for a vote in the past, the federal budget was projected to be in surplus.
With large deficits looming, and the administration pushing other tax cuts for the wealthy, this is a very bad time to repeal this tax.
Minimum wage increase to $7.25 (2006):
I will vote for an increase in the minimum wage. More importantly, I will work for a living wage, which is a wage that will support reasonable shelter, food and health care for a citizen because that is where the real need is.
Opening the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (2006):
I would vote against opening the ANWR to oil drilling. Instead of putting this national treasure at risk, I will work to require the United States to be a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, which outlines goals for reversing the effects of global warming.
Increased federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (2006):
I would have voted for this increased funding. Some researchers regard stem cells as offering the greatest potential for the alleviation of human suffering since the development of antibiotics.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (2003):
Instituting piecemeal solutions to healthcare-related issues is a road to nowhere. Focusing only on Medicare prescription coverage prevents the nation from dealing with the real problem, the lack of universal single-payer health care, which will provide prescription drug coverage for all.
Extend $70 billion in Bush administration tax cuts (2006):
I would have voted against these tax cuts. It is a sad commentary when our Congress values ordinary citizens so little that they pass huge, unneeded tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor.
People making over $1,000,000 per year (two-tenths of 1 percent of Americans) were granted tax cuts by the Congress, which amounted to 54 percent of the total tax cuts.
Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (2006):
I would have voted against this amendment. I will work to insure that no person will be discriminated against due to sexual orientation. I will support the right of same sex marriage to be extended to all couples who desire to be married.
Adoption (2001, renewal 2005) of the USA Patriot Act:
I would have voted against the USA Patriot Act and its renewal. The Patriot Act was rushed through the Congress during a time of national heartbreak without adequate debate or consideration. It contains numerous provisions that counteract our historical assumption of a right to privacy and allows the federal government an unprecedented level of intrusion into our lives. The USA Patriot Act should be repealed and a more thoughtful approach should be considered.
Including a health exception to the late-term abortion ban (2003):
I would have voted for a health exception to the late-term abortion ban. I support choice. I will work to ensure that a woman will continue to have the exclusive right to control what happens to her body.
Iraq War resolution (2002); funding for the war (2006); timetable for withdrawal (2006):
I would have voted against giving the president the authority to wage war.
I would have voted – and will vote – against all funding for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The [timetable] resolution, which was not binding, declares that “it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States armed forces from Iraq.” I would have voted against this resolution; I support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
Immigration reform (2006):
I will work to reform immigration policy and to create a specific national immigration policy that identifies who can legally immigrate to the United States, includes clear qualifications for citizenship, and prohibits any temporary worker programs in favor of programs that offer permanent citizenship instead.