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Candidates in the 2nd Congressional District Race

A look at where the 1st Congressional District candidates stand on the issues.

Jon Courtney won the Republican primary election and faces the Democratic incumbent, Chellie Pingree who is serving her second term in Congress and is seeking a third.


  Favors tax reform and reducing regulation. Would strive to ensure that Maine is competitive with other states in finding ways to attract business. Believes the economy will improve if the "economic pie" is increased for everyone. In terms of spending cuts, believes progress can be made in cutting waste. Believes that the stimulus plan has helped the nation's economy "slowly recover" through investments in infrastructure and providing funds to help states balance their budgets. Says it created about 2,000 jobs in Maine, and would consider another stimulus plan. Thinks economic recovery is hampered by the slow housing market. Believes efforts in Congress to boost local agriculture will help revitalize Maine's rural areas. Thinks there's potential to maintain and boost Maine's manufacturing base because of the state's highly-skilled workforce and low costs. Believes Maine's leadership in developing offshore wind could lead to more "green" manufacturing jobs.  
  Wants to seek ways to lower the cost of energy. Supports tax incentives for developing alternative energy, but thinks they should be limited, and focused on sources that have a "pathway to the marketplace." Supports nuclear power only if it can be produced safely. Believes that new technology will help bring more sources of energy safely to consumers. Thinks all sources of power should "be on the table" and wants to end dependence on the Middle East for energy. Supports offshore drilling to some extent, but not in the Gulf of Maine because it's "not really practical." Supports targeted tax subsidies for alternative energy sources, which she says will help reduce Maine's dependence on foreign oil and create jobs. Applauds the Recovery Act for providing money to invest in researching wind power off the coadt of Maine. Believes Maine is in a "unique position" to benefit from alternatives because the state is heavily dependent on heating oil, which continues to fluctuate in price. She says she has "serious concerns" about expanding nuclear power because of the lack of a solution to the waste disposal problem.  
  Does not support the Affordable Care Act, because he believes it worsens the deficit over the long term, and takes health care decisions out of people's hands. He believes the ACA could lead to rationing, and impact Medicaid. But he does support some provisions of the act, including one that allows young people to stay on their parents' policies longer. Thinks the ACA should be repealed, but must be replaced with "common sense solutions," such as creating a high risk pool and getting more healthy people into the market. Supports the Affordable Care Act, but would go further and endorse a single-payer health care system. Supported the ACA because, she says, it heads in the right direction and will expand access to health care and help bring down costs.  
Political Gridlock
  Thinks the people of Maine deserve more civility in Washington, and that party members should make more effort to talk to those on the other side of the political aisle. Thinks there's less collegiality in Congress as members attend to fundraising and other time-consuming obligations. Believes there are many ways for people to work across the aisle, and says she has done so on issues such as public financing of elections. Thinks the "partisan" battle for the White House is contributing to gridlock, which she says is likely to ease once the election is over.  
  Describes himself as "pro-life." Says she is pro-choice, and is "strongly opposed to any attempts to limit a woman's right to choose or reproductive health choices."  
Same-Sex Marriage
  Opposes same-sex marriage. Supports same-sex marriage.  
Social Security
  Is against privatization, and would consider raising the retirement age and making other changes to the system to keep it viable. Opposes privatizing the Social Security system because a market downturn -- or crash -- could put retirees in a "vulnerable position." Would eliminate the cap on Social Security earnings to bring new revenue into the system.  
  He says we need to make sure Medicare is protected as is for people 55 and older. But he believes changes are necessary for younger people, including changing the retirement age. He would not rule out means testing. Believes the Medicare system should include incentives to keep people healthy. Does not support Paul Ryan's proposal to change Medicare to a voucher system because, she says, it won't be dependable and will cost seniors more. Thinks the Medicare system can be made more secure in other ways. In terms of age eligibility, would consider proposals to lower the eligibility age to 55 to bring younger people into the system, in order to help drive down the costs.  
  Would not support any tax increases because he believes they would worsen the recession. Supports continuing the Bush-era tax cuts across the board. Would close loopholes for "high rollers" who move businesses overseas to avoid paying taxes and avoid "following the same rules we have to follow on Main St." Refused to sign Grover Norquist's "no taxes" pledge because he doesn't believe his decisions should be dictated by "some guy in Washington." Supports President Obama's plan to raise federal income taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year to help close the deficit and balance the federal budget. Would eliminate tax subsidies for oil and gas companies because they are "profitable industries" and don't need taxpayer dollars to "make them even more profitable." Would close loopholes for big companies that move profits offshore to avoid paying taxes because they are "not fair" to small businesses and individuals who are "struggling to get by."  
Foreign Policy
  He believes U.S. military spending should be more focused and thinks troops have been shortchanged on equipment and support. Thinks the U.S. military needs to prioritize better. Believes all diplomatic options should be explored before resorting to war, and that decisions to go to war should not be politically motivated. Says she's ready to bring the troops home from Afghanistan "now," and is pleased that President Obama ended the war in Iraq. She says the wars have cost a great deal financially, and there was no plan to pay for them. She also laments the loss of American troops, which she says have done "an incredible job" and "made our country proud." Supports dealing with Iran's nuclear program through sanctions supported by the Obama administration and America's allies. She believes we should stick with diplomacy for as long as possible and keep a close eye on developments in Iran.  











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