Maine House District 71

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Name:

Dennise Whitley

Email address

dennisewhitley@gmail.com

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Party affiliation

Democrat

Legislative chamber

Maine House

Legislative district

71

Occupation or primary source of income

Retired Maine Director of Government Relations, American Heart Association; co-owner, Lost Corner Land Surveying

Community organizations

Norway Historical Society, Western Maine Art Group, Health Advisory Council for SeniorsPlus, Maine Public Health Association , AARP, Responsible Pet Care

Personal information (hobbies, activities etc.)

Cooking, art, rescue cats, strategic planning facilitation

Family status

Married to Barry Allen, 2 children, 7 grandchildren

Years in Legislature

0

Are you a Clean Election candidate?

Yes

Committee assignments you want

Health and Human Services; Education and Cultural Affairs.

Would you support expanding the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare? Why or why not?

Yes. Accepting federal health care funds saves money and strengthens Oxford County’s economy by $20 million annually. Some 3,810 Oxford County residents would have access to health care to see a regular doctor instead of using the ER and get preventive health services, saving money and making a healthier workforce.

Should Maine follow the city of Portland’s lead and legalize the possession of limited amounts of marijuana for adults over the age of 21? Why or why not?

There should be extensive research done by an unbiased commission and a report and recommendations should be presented to the Legislature for action. If the report recommends the legalization and possession of limited amounts of marijuana for adults over 21, I would support the initiative.

Should the state of Maine continue to provide incentives for businesses and homeowners to convert or diversify energy sources to those considered renewable, like solar, wind and geothermal?

Yes. I believe that state and federal incentives to homeowners and businesses to diversify to renewable energy sources is a wise, and necessary, investment and will return monetary and environmental rewards. It will also make Maine more attractive to developing businesses and those looking to relocate.

Maine’s minimum wage is $7.50 an hour. As a state lawmaker would you support increasing that minimum wage? If so, what should Maine’s minimum wage be?

Mainers have an innate work ethic and they should be paid fairly for their labors. For full-time jobs, wages should be adequate to provide sustenance for a family, so that family earners are not having to work at two or three jobs to “get by.”

What issue is the most important to voters in your legislative district?

Jobs, jobs, jobs. We must be entreprenurial and create and/or attract businesses that use our abundant natural resources in western Maine, so that our children and grandchildren who choose to live here can provide for themselves and their families and not have to leave to “make a living.”

What about you makes you the man or woman for the job?

Common sense and 13 years of successful collaborative work with all branches of Maine’s government, including governors and their staffs, senators, representatives and attorneys general passing legislation that benefits the education/health of Maine’s children and adults. One example is the creation and protection of the Fund for a Healthy Maine.

Describe yourself in a “Tweet”

Common sense, experience, willingness to come to compromise benefiting constituents and a passion for the legislative process when it works.

Name:

Tom Winsor

Email address

twinsor@megalink.net

Party affiliation

Republican

Legislative chamber

Maine House

Legislative district

71

Occupation or primary source of income

Retired

Community organizations

Norway-Paris Kiwanis; Maine Appalachian Trail Club-2000 miler; Appalachian Trail Conservancy; Western Maine Transportation –Board; Weary Club; Norway Paris Hunting – Fishing Association-Life Member; Mt. Washington Observatory; Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce; American Legion

Personal information (hobbies, activities etc.)

Politics, fishing, climbing, hiking, boating, skiing, golf, visiting

Family status

Married, 3 children, 4 grandchildren

Years in Legislature

12

Are you a Clean Election candidate?

No

Committee assignments you want

Appropriations and Financial Affairs.

Would you support expanding the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare? Why or why not?

Not now. I was in the Legislature in the ’90s when we grew the Medicaid program with promises of money saved with federal funds and improved health outcomes. Neither has happened. Now we need to focus state dollars on programs for older and disabled folks eligible and waiting for services.

Should Maine follow the city of Portland’s lead and legalize the possession of limited amounts of marijuana for adults over the age of 21? Why or why not?

Adults need to be responsible examples for children, one of which is to abide by the federal law. A little more time to see how things go in Colorado, Washington and Oregon may help us make better decisions. I think not now.

Should the state of Maine continue to provide incentives for businesses and homeowners to convert or diversify energy sources to those considered renewable, like solar, wind and geothermal?

Yes, but I would like us to focus more on using the money collected from each of us in our utility bills to provide low interest or no interest loans. Over time, I think this would expand the program for more people to use.

Maine’s minimum wage is $7.50 an hour. As a state lawmaker would you support increasing that minimum wage? If so, what should Maine’s minimum wage be?

Increasing the wage seems like a good thing to do, but I haven’t seen it really help anyone except in the short term. I observed when we raised the wage last time that ability for the unskilled and young people to get job experiences became more limited.

What issue is the most important to voters in your legislative district?

Most of the people I talk with are concerned with the loss of local employment opportunities. Jobs are available but require driving some distance. Commuting is expensive in time and money and is adversely affecting our families, schools and local merchants. Most folks want local work.

What about you makes you the man or woman for the job?

Experience is important in understanding the choices to be made in Augusta. I have been an active member of my communities for more than 40 years. I chose to work and raise my family here. I served in local, county and state elected offices and volunteer in many local activities.

Describe yourself in a “Tweet”

I have proudly represented the Towns of Greenwood, Norway, Waterford, and West Paris in the Maine House for 12 years — a very special honor

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