All Maine Matters

September 2006



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All Maine Matters

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Vol. 1, No. 9      September 2006 FREE

An Agenda for Change: Getting Maine Back on Track
by Senator Chandler Woodcock

Immediately following the Republican primary election – a cordial and respectful campaign – the Governor’s allies began to mislabel me and mislead you about my agenda for Maine. I believe it will get worse. Beginning soon, I expect you will hear and see ads by special interest groups that attack me personally because my opponents want to change the subject – they don’t want to change Augusta. So when you hear these ads, ask yourself, “Who are these people? And what is their agenda for Maine?”

I’m running for Governor because I believe we need to get Maine back on track. I’m focused on improving our business climate, reducing taxes, making health insurance more affordable and implementing real spending reform. That’s my agenda.

I am not a career politician. In fact, my background is probably similar to yours. I’m a retired high school English teacher and basketball coach. I served Farmington as a selectman and served western Maine in the Senate. I served our country in Vietnam. I’ve been married for 33 years and have four children and three grandchildren. I want what is best for my family, but I’m concerned about what the current Governor’s policies will mean for the future of this state.

I am not satisfied with the lack of progress we’ve made the past four years. Last year, Maine was one of only two states in the entire nation whose economy did not grow. The other state was hurricane-ravaged Louisiana. Maine cannot blame its poor standing on a natural disaster. Instead we have been victimized by an unnatural disaster: state spending.

State spending has increased by nearly one billion dollars under our current Governor. No wonder our taxes are the highest in the nation. The time has come to limit the growth of government in a responsible manner. That is why I support the Taxpayers Bill of Rights as a means of real spending reform.

Recently released a study titled, “The Best States for Business.” States were ranked by categories ranging from business costs to quality of life. The results for Maine were not pretty. Our state is listed as the 46 th best state to do business in. The cost of doing business in Maine, driven in part by our regulatory environment, is costing us jobs.

We need leadership in Augusta that recognizes employers create jobs, not government. Government’s role is to give businesses the opportunity to succeed by creating an environment where employers view Maine as a predictable and reliable place to do business and invest in the future.

Despite spending tens of millions of dollars on Dirigo Health, health insurance in Maine is still unaffordable for small businesses and working families. According to federal statistics, a Maine small business pays the 8 th highest premiums in the country, more than 10% higher than the national average.

If you want to see the cost of Maine regulations, visit Anthem provides health insurance in Maine and New Hampshire for small businesses and individuals.  For a Maine family of four buying insurance on their own, an Anthem policy with a $1,000 deductible costs a staggering $1,831 a month.  For an identical New Hampshire family, an Anthem policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $537 a month.

Augusta has overregulated and overtaxed the health insurance market, and has failed to pay its bills to Maine hospitals. As Governor, I intend to improve Maine’s healthcare system by empowering consumers with more choices. We must allow Mainers to shop for and purchase health insurance policies from other states and fix regulations that prohibit a variety of plans tailored to the needs of various populations.

This campaign is about improving Maine, but first we need to improve the tone in Augusta. Mainers will hold those of us seeking office to a high standard of discourse during these challenging times. They are not interested in smears and innuendo. Our challenges are not so great that we cannot emerge from them, but it will take a leader who is willing to be candid with the people of Maine about our economic standing, make tough choices – and stand by them.

Chandler Woodcock is the Republican candidate for Governor.


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