By Rep. Deborah Sanderson
For the first time in 12 years, the people of Maine’s Second Congressional District will soon be asked to choose a new representative in the U.S. House. The contrast between the candidates couldn’t be clearer, but what the decision will really boil down to is, which candidate is the best fit for the values and priorities of northern and western Maine?
One look at the record of Emily Cain tells us she’s just too liberal. In the early days, Congressman Michaud was considered a “blue dog” moderate Democrat, and though he eventually started campaigning with a gun control PAC and came out in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions, he was already too embedded in his seat by the time he flipped on those issues.
Emily Cain is that liberal—and perhaps even more so—right now. She is so extreme, she voted to let convicts vote from prison. Maine and Vermont are currently the only two states that think that’s a good idea.
She introduced a bill to make all children from kindergarten through ninth grade weigh in at schools and for the data to be sent to a central database at the Department of Education for further scrutiny. Why? As a mother, I neither need nor appreciate big government doing my parenting for me.
Emily Cain’s tax and spend credentials can match even the most liberal politician, making her feel right at home working for Nancy Pelosi. Cain wants to repeal the income tax cuts for the middle class passed roughly a decade ago. She wants to increase the Social Security payroll tax, force everyone into a VA-style government-run health care system, and slap a new tax on energy, which has been estimated to cost the average household an extra $1,700 per year in electricity bills.
Mainers simply can’t afford Emily Cain’s big government liberalism, especially with winter coming.
Cain’s tax-hiking aspirations for Congress should come as no surprise given her record in the Maine Legislature. She likes to tout her bipartisan approach on the campaign trail, but at the State House, where I serve with her, she helped ram through the controversial tax hike plan that created 102 new taxes on everything from haircuts to car repairs, and was repealed by angry voters the next year.
Emily Cain’s lack of bipartisanship cost Mainers time and money to repeal her partisan tax hike package. It’s no wonder she was ranked the fourth most partisan Democrat in the Maine Senate by the Sunlight Foundation.
Cain is trying to take credit for the largest tax cut in Maine’s history, passed by majority Republican lawmakers and signed by Gov. LePage in 2011. She says she “negotiated the biggest tax cut” but in reality, she negotiated against it, not for it. In fact, she infamously said, “my caucus hates these tax cuts.”
Cain can’t take credit for Republican tax cuts any more than Republicans can take credit for Cain’s sales tax hike last year.
There are many extreme, liberal votes in Emily Cain’s record, but one of her more troubling legacies was her role in killing common sense welfare reform. This year, she voted against requiring non-disabled adults to apply for at least three jobs before receiving benefits. She voted against closing loopholes in the welfare system that allowed job ready recipients to dodge the current work search requirement. And she voted to allow Maine welfare dollars to continue to be spent in all 50 states, even at places like Disney World and Las Vegas casinos.
Finally, as a woman, I find it incredibly demeaning that Cain would imply that abortion rights are the only women’s issue on the ballot.
The women I speak to have many concerns. They are concerned about having a job to support their family. They are concerned about their children getting an education that will give them the tools needed to be successful in the future. They are concerned there may not be opportunities for their children after graduation and they’ll have to relocate out of state like so many before. They are concerned about aging parents and the availability of quality care in rural areas of Maine.
Emily Cain is just too extreme for northern Maine. Bruce Poliquin has a record of fiscal and government reform that’s exactly what Washington needs right now.
Poliquin represents the change and the strong leadership Maine and Washington so desperately need. Northern Maine needs a serious leader with a proven track record of creating jobs, paying down debt, and reforming broken government agencies.