As part of the ongoing Election 2012 coverage, Penobscot Bay Press is publishing excerpts from a questionnaire sent to candidates in local Maine House and Senate races.
In the wide-open Maine Senate District 31 race, Democrat Emery Deabay of Bucksport and Republican Edward Youngblood of Brewer are battling for the seat of term-limited Republican Richard Rosen.
Deabay has worked at the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport for 37 years. Youngblood is a former state senator from 2001-2004 and retired senior vice president at Bangor Savings Bank where he worked for 30 years.
Senate District 31 includes Castine and Penobscot plus 19 other towns in Hancock and Penobscot counties.
Why do you want to be, or continue to be, a public servant? If elected, how will you make sure you are available and accessible to your constituents? Please be specific.
Emery Deabay: I want to be a public servant because I want to make sure that when the legislature makes changes, they are fair for the people of Maine. I will be available and accessible by having my phone number and email address public. I will also visit towns and attend as many events as I can throughout the District.
Edward Youngblood: This is a wonderful state and country that we live in. We’re only here for a short period of time and we all have a responsibility to leave it a better place than we found it. I grew up in an environment that promoted involvement and volunteering. I served as your state senator from 2000 through 2004. I attended numerous selectmen’s, council and school board meetings and held many town meetings in communities throughout the district and would plan to do this again. I am available daily by phone and Facebook.
Are you willing and able to work across the aisle? How would you accomplish this?
Emery Deabay: Yes I am willing to work across the aisle to get things done that benefit the people of Maine. I will do this by listening and being open to new ideas. I believe people are elected to go to Augusta to serve the people of the state not a particular party.
Edward Youngblood: I just received the OneMaine endorsement as the candidate that demonstrated dedication to working across the aisle to find solutions to Maine’s greatest problems. OneMaine is a statewide organization created to provide a rallying point for people who believe that our politics need to be more effective and less partisan and promote “Lets do what’s best for Maine.” Problems are created because of a lack of or poor communications. You start with a small committee (all legislative committees have 13 people), you do things as a committee not individually (you create committee bills not bills sponsored by individuals), you keep discussions on track, and you communicate and communicate.
What is your stance on Super PAC monies being used in regional and state elections? If given the chance, would you work toward legislation to address the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allows for the use of unlimited corporate funds in elections?
Emery Deabay: I think it was a bad decision and something needs to be done to change it. I certainly would work towards changing it so unlimited Super PAC money cannot be used in elections.
Edward Youngblood: In 2000 and 2002 and again in 2012 I have run for the Maine Senate as a Clean Election Candidate not because I felt I couldn’t raise the necessary funds to run a competitive campaign but because I want to take big money out of politics. I want to be able to talk to corporate lobbyist (they are the best source of good information) and not feel in any way obligated to vote for their issue. I would if given the chance work to reverse the use of big money in elections.