Issues and Solutions

Download our Voter Guide, October 6 Edition

I am asking for your support to grow Maine to a future where we can all satisfy our hunger, secure our housing, and maintain our health, while enjoying our lives together. I invite you to join with me to find solutions to pervasive pollution, persistent poverty, disabling addiction, chronic underemployment, technological disruption, political dysfunction, and soaring costs for health care and education. Let's put innovation, integrity and independence to work making more positive change happen.

Key Issues

My Policy Positions

I am running as a "Green Independent," an independent who respects and shares the values of the Maine Green Independent Party, not as a partisan politician promoting a party platform. If I am elected, I will caucus with the other Independents, not with the Democrats or the Republicans.

Here are my positions on the issues that voters and special interests groups have asked me about:

Abortion

I support women’s right to choose whether and when to have children and whether and when to have an abortion. I believe all Mainers should have health insurance under a universal, tax-funded plan that includes abortion and other family planning healthcare.

Absentee Voting

I support absentee voting and other methods that make it safer and easier for citizens to participate in our democracy. I believe Maine's system, which requires voters to request ballots, rather than indiscriminately mailing ballots to every voter, is prudent and trustworthy.

Basic Income

I support a basic income in Maine that is paid for by a carbon tax in Maine. See Carbon Fee and Dividend

Black Lives Matter

I believe that black lives matter. I understand that continuing the difficult work to repair the damage from the legacy of slavery and segregation in the United States strengthens other efforts to promote goodwill and justice for all. I appreciate the difference between passively ignoring racism and actively working to overcome racism.

Bonds for Infrastructure Projects

I support issuing state bonds to fund crucial investments in infrastructure, and closing tax loopholes to ensure that we have the state tax revenue to pay bondholders.

Car Inspections

I support reducing or eliminating the requirement for annual vehicle safety inspections in Maine, because the costs now outweigh the benefits due to technological improvements in car design and manufacturing.

Carbon Fee and Dividend

I support a carbon tax that funds a guaranteed income for all Maine residents. The carbon tax would raise money from everyone who burns fossil fuel in our state, including the 25 to 37 million visitors to Maine each year. Proceeds would be deposited in a Maine Permanent Fund that would be managed like the Alaska Permanent Fund: for the perpetual benefit of the people of our state. An annual dividend from the Maine Permanent Fund would benefit the 1.5 million full-time residents of Maine.

Carbon Tax

I support a carbon tax that funds a carbon dividend. The dividend would be the same for every resident of Maine, so that lower-income people will receive a net benefit from the carbon tax and dividend. See Carbon Fee and Dividend

Charter Schools

I support non-profit public charter schools because I believe they help all schools perform better by providing a place for teachers, students and families to try new things. I do not support for-profit virtual charter schools.

Chemical Pollution

I support policies that protect the health of Mainers from toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), “forever chemicals,” that have contaminated food, water, our homes and environment.

Churches

I support the designation of churches as essential organizations during times of social crisis.

Clean Elections

I support and participate in Maine’s clean election system.

Climate Change

I support more effective efficiency programs combined with a fast and fair transition to electric heating and transportation, powered by clean solar energy, to prevent the pollution that is causing dangerous climate change.

CMP Corridor (New England Clean Energy Connect)

The CMP corridor is a proposed project to connect the Canadian electricity grids and the United States electricity grids via bi-directional high-voltage direct current transmission lines to allow greater utilization of Canadian hydropower resources for both power supply and energy storage. I support making these interconnections, but I believe they should be carefully planned and built to protect our environment and benefit people in Canada and the United States. On Thursday, August 13, the Maine Supreme Court ruled that a citizens' initiative on the New England Clean Energy Connect could not appear on the November ballot, because the ballot initiative would exceed the scope of the people's legislative powers under the Maine state constitution. I am disappointed that Maine citizens will not have the chance to vote on this ballot initiative this fall, and expect to be involved in crafting legislation on this topic if I am elected.

College Debt Forgiveness

I support a Maine jobs program to allow college graduates to serve their communities, use their education to solve real-world problems, and enjoy the rest of their lives free from college debt.

Conversion Therapy

I support therapy for gender and sexual orientation questions that is effective and promotes well being. Conversion therapy has not been shown to be effective. I support the right of children to receive counseling that is not coercive. I also support the right of parents to seek counseling for their children that accords with their faith and cultural practices, as long as it is not coercive.

Criminal Justice Reform

I support criminal justice reform that reduces the cost of our system, protects public safety, improves outcomes for offenders with mental illness and addiction, and reserves costly prison beds for violent and serious repeat offenders.

Death with Dignity

I support Maine’s death with dignity law that allows certain terminally-ill adults to request and receive, after a waiting period, prescription medication to hasten death while under the care of a physician.

Distance Education (Remote Learning)

I support excellence in distance education for many reasons: the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to persist, new health threats are likely to emerge, and students cannot always travel to receive in-person education. Excellent remote learning programs will increase opportunities and make our education system more robust. I support investments in internet connectivity to ensure distance education is available fairly throughout Maine.

Domestic Violence

I support investment in social programs that protect the right of every person to grow up and live in a safe home without fear of being beaten or killed by an abusive parent or partner.

Drinking Water

I support policies that assure that all Mainers have access to safe drinking water, regardless of income.

Education

I support public education starting with all-day preschool to give working class families in particular more opportunities in life.

Energy

I support permanently making Maine’s energy more affordable by permanently lowering demand and increasing supply. I support lowering demand by improving and expanding the Efficiency Maine program. I support increasing supply by encouraging investment in solar power sited in Maine.

Equal Rights Amendment

I support a Maine Equal Rights Amendment that states, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the state of Maine on account of sex."

Green New Deal

I support public investment in wealth-building green infrastructure that grows a stronger and more sustainable economy in Maine.

Gun Safety

I support background checks and other laws that improve gun safety.

Health Care

I support excellent healthcare provided by state-licensed medical professionals in private practice at non-profit community clinics and hospitals and made available to everyone in Maine through a public single-payer tax-funded health insurance plan.

Health Insurance

I support a tax-funded single-payer public health insurance plan at the state or national level that covers everyone from birth to death regardless of their employment status, allowing people to access excellent healthcare provided by state-licensed medical professionals in private practice at non-profit community clinics and hospitals.

Hydropower

I support small-scale run-of-river hydropower projects, tidal projects and pumped storage projects that maximize the value of both hydropower and ecosystems in Maine.

Indigenous Nations Relations

I support sharing power fairly and fully with the people who have inherited the tribal rights granted by our predecessors in government when Massachusetts and then Maine became a state on the land that native people were already governing.

Jobs

I support investment in green infrastructure projects, such as solar power plants, electric vehicle charging stations, high-speed Internet networks, recycling and composting facilities, public schools, and community health care clinics and hospitals that create good jobs, grow wealth, and protect health in Maine.

LGBTQIA Equality

I support equal rights for all people regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation. I do recognize the difficulties raised as newer ideas about gender inclusivity collide with older ideas about freedom of association and freedom of religion, but am committed to working through these issues with humility, good humor and respect for all involved.

Maine Public Employees Retirement System

I support fully funding the Maine Public Employees Retirement System to ensure that retirees can count on income to stay in their homes and maintain a decent quality of life after a career of public service.

Maine State Bank

I support a Maine state bank to improve the efficiency of the state government, reduce fraud, and ensure that everyone in Maine can effectively participate in our economy.

Minimum Wage

I support fair minimum wage and hour regulations to ensure vulnerable workers are not exploited and small businesses can afford to hire workers. I support indexing future raises in the minimum wage to inflation.

Natural Gas

I support a phase-out of natural gas for heating and transportation, to be replaced by passive solar building design, electric heat pumps, and electric vehicles powered by solar energy produced in Maine. Natural gas power plants are a bridge to a clean energy future, but natural gas heating and transportation systems are piers into an ocean of climate change.

New England Clean Energy Connect

See “CMP Corridor”

Organic Farms

I support “buy organic” programs to sustain Maine farm and food businesses that are protecting our environment and promoting public health.

Peaceful Protest

I support the right of people in Maine to assemble in peaceful protest, as guaranteed by Article 1, Section 15 of the Constitution of Maine, which states, “The people have a right at all times in an orderly and peaceable manner to assemble to consult upon the common good, to give instructions to their representatives, and to request, of either department of the government by petition or remonstrance, redress of their wrongs and grievances.”

Physician-assisted Suicide

I support Maine’s death with dignity law. See “Death with Dignity.”

Police

I support policing policies that promote restorative justice, increase the opportunities for police to serve rather than control communities, reduce the risk of violence or death in police encounters, defuse social tensions, and allow mental health matters to be handled by trained social workers as quickly and often as possible.

Poverty

I support universal health insurance to eliminate bankruptcies due to medical bills, and a guaranteed basic income to eliminate extreme poverty in Maine.

Ranked Choice Voting

I support ranked choice voting, but I prefer inclusive choice voting. I do not condone exclusive choice voting for any election in Maine.

There are three main ways to conduct elections:

  1. Exclusive choice voting
  2. Ranked choice voting
  3. Inclusive choice voting

Exclusive choice voting forces voters to vote for only one candidate and implicitly against all others, even if their true preference is "anyone but Fred" (just as an example). Because exclusive choice voting creates many problems, most perniciously the "split the vote" problem, we should cease using this method for any elections at any level in Maine. Unfortunately, by tradition, almost all elections in Maine are held by exclusive choice voting.

Ranked choice voting requires voters to rank their candidates in order of preference. This solves many problems, but creates additional ones. Most seriously, ranked choice voting is not allowed under the Maine constitution for electing our Governor or state Legislators because it forces a majority decision and does not decide an election by plurality as our state constitution requires for the office of Governor and state Legislator.

Ranked choice voting (which is sometimes called "instant run-off voting") also requires a new method of counting ballots—twice in some circumstances. Many people think this aspect of Maine’s ranked choice voting law violates the "one person, one vote" ideal. In an election where no candidate receives a majority in the first round, the results are delayed while the 2nd, 3rd, etc. choices are counted on some ballots until a majority is achieved. For all of these reasons, even though it is an improvement over exclusive choice voting, I believe that ranked choice voting is not the best method for Maine.

Inclusive choice voting solves the split the vote problem and allows people to vote how they want. All of our current voting machines can be used for inclusive choice voting (we can already vote "for" or "against" ballot measures; we'd vote "for" or "against" candidates, too). Inclusive choice voting is allowed under the Maine constitution for all elections.

Inclusive choice voting (which is sometimes called "approval voting") allows you to vote just the way you always have: you can vote exclusively "for" only one candidate and "against" all the others. But you can also vote inclusively for candidates. You can vote "against" only one candidate, and "for" all the others. The candidate with the most "for" votes wins, whether a plurality or a majority.

With inclusive choice voting, there is no need to count ballots twice, so it satisfies the "one person, one vote" principle. There is no risk in splitting your vote if you can't choose between two good candidates. You can vote "for" both of them. Since votes only need to be counted once, the results of an inclusive choice election are known as soon as that’s done.

I believe we should use inclusive choice voting in Maine for all elections.

Recycling

I support greater investment in recycling infrastructure so Maine can build wealth with more facilities that efficiently, quickly and safely return all recyclable materials, including glass, to productive use here in our state.

Sanctuary Cities

I support the right of citizens of cities and towns to limit the extent of their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents in order to protect their tax-paying friends and neighbors from deportation for minor violations of federal immigration law that pose no threat to public health or safety, such as overstaying visas or obtaining paid employment while awaiting a decision on asylum.

School Funding

I support a state budget that covers 55% of the cost of public education in Maine, meeting the requirement established by citizen referendum. I believe we can achieve this by prioritizing funding for public education as the first spending bill the House considers each session. I support raising the estate tax and other taxes if necessary to achieve the 55% state funding level for schools in every state budget, because this reduces pressure on local property taxes.

Scope of Medical Practice

I support policies that protect patient safety, expand access to quality health care services, decrease the regulatory burden on physicians, align clinical practice laws with current practice (especially regarding physician assistants and nurse practitioners), and allow for accurate collection of quality metrics tied to patient outcomes.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

I support requiring all businesses that provide services to the public to do so on an equal basis regardless of the customer's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Small Business

I support streamlining regulations, reducing energy costs and guaranteeing universal healthcare to help small businesses start and grow in Maine.

Solar Power

I support a Maine solar fund for energy projects, including solar gardens and solar farms, to make solar power more available and more affordable for everyone.

Taxes

I support progressive taxation, so wealthier people pay higher tax rates than poorer people. I favor lowering income taxes and raising estate taxes and capital gains taxes. I also favor progressive sales and wealth taxes. I believe Maine should conduct a more thorough study of how a value added tax might be implemented in our state to improve the efficiency of our tax collection system.

Teacher Salaries

I support the ramp to a $40,000 minimum annual salary for public school teachers in Maine.

Transgender Athletes

I support both the right of transgender athletes to compete and event organizers to exclude sexes, such as a womens race to include only female people and exclude male and intersex people regardless of their gender expression. I understand this position raises difficult questions that defy satisfying resolution, because the biological sex of humans is not entirely binary and is likely to become less so as medical procedures are developed that allow people to more fully transition from one sex to another.

Transportation

I support a fast and fair transition to electric self-driving vehicles powered by solar energy produced in Maine to improve air quality and sustain economic growth.

Unions

I support the right of workers, including public employees, to organize to demand fair wages, good benefits and healthy working conditions.

Vaccinations

I understand that vaccines save lives: vaccines approved for public use are extremely effective and safe on a population basis. I support requiring approved vaccines for public school attendance, with limited exemptions for medical conditions that do not allow vaccination. I support allowing private schools and private daycare providers to not require vaccines for attendance, as long they establish and follow effective health measures, following guidance from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and other public health agencies, to prevent transmission of communicable diseases. Under no circumstances should Maine force people to be vaccinated against their will. Parents should always have the option to keep their children out of public school and unvaccinated if they so choose.

Wind Power

I support research and development for deep-water wind projects off the coast of Maine. I also support thorough environmental review for every wind project; none should be “fast-tracked” to bypass local opposition to siting, noise, visual impact, road construction and other valid concerns.

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