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Cutler Book Outlines Independent's Vision for Maine
09/18/2013   Reported By: Mal Leary

Independent Eliot Cutler has released a short book outlining his vision for Maine's future should he be elected governor. Cutler hasn't formally announced he's running yet. He's also not the first candidate for governor to write a book as a campaign tool. Mal Leary reports.

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Eliot Cutler is expected to make his formal announcement soon, but he's not waiting until then to outline his vision for Maine's future.  He's published a 104-page book titled "A State of Opportunity: A Plan to Build a Healthier, Smarter, Stronger, Younger and More Prosperous Maine."

It may be too long to be a campaign slogan, but Cutler says it describes his plan.

"Maine people deserve to have their candidates, and to hear from their candidates the ideas and the plans and the strategies that they have for Maine," he says. "It is not a good idea for people to be disappointed half way through a governor's term when they discover that he or she is not what they anticipated."

Cutler says while he lays out many ideas, he hasn't got a monopoly on good ideas. He says attitude is important in governing, not just having ideas.

"A governor who's willing to work with the legislature, and a legislature that is willing to work with a governor, ought to be able to meld those ideas and come up with the best course, the best path for Maine to follow," he says. "That's my intention and I reserve the right to change my mind about just about anything."

While Cutler spends several pages talking about the problems facing the state, and is critical of both Republicans and Democrats, he says the book should not be seen as an attack on the parties, but a proposal to change the way Maine is going.

"I don't think anyone has a monopoly on good ideas - I certainly don't think that I do, I don't think Democrats do, and I don't think Republicans do," Cutler says. "And I also think that you can glean good ideas not only from all of those folks, but you can also combine ideas, and elements of ideas, into better ones. And that's what I've done my whole life."

Cutler acknowledges that other independent candidates have used a book to promote their campaigns. Angus King wrote "Making a Difference" when he ran for governor. Barbara Merrill wrote "Setting the Maine Course" when she ran for governor in 2006.

But who would take the time to read a more than 100-page political manifesto?  University of Maine Political Science Professor Mark Brewer says more folks than you might imagine.

"If you got an individual who is undecided about who they are going to vote for, and they are trying to make a rational, reasoned, informed judgment, it's certainly at least a possibility that that type of individual is going to take advantage of whatever resources they can get their hands on," Brewer says.

And Brewer says the price is certainly right for the book:  It's free as a download from Cutler's campaign Web site.


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