Maine Greens publish June 2010 voter guide

The Maine Green Independent Party has put out a Green voter guide for 2010 elections, which advocates voting Yes on all 5 ballot questions. The June primary will also feature 2 contested Green primaries for state representative: between Christian McNeil and Kris Eckhardt in District 119, and between Charles Bragdon and Anna Trevorrow in District 120. Read on for details about the ballot questions.

Question 1 (People’s Veto):

“Do you want to reject the new law that lowers Maine’s income tax and replaces that revenue by making changes to the sales tax?”
MGIP recommends voting: Yes

The Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP) supports the repeal for two reasons. First and foremost, the legislation as passed changes the current bracket income tax structure to a flat tax. Secondly, to make up for the difference, L.D. 1495 increases and expands taxation on services that would disproportionately affect low and middle-income earners. For instance, included in the bill are new taxes on auto repair, which hurt average income Mainers who depend on cars for their daily commutes; excluded in the bill are proposed new taxes on ski resorts and golf courses, which would apply taxation to those that can most afford it. Additionally, these taxes would further burden our small businesses that are the backbone of our economy. Because the MGIP supports progressive tax legislation whereby those most able to pay back into the system compensate for those less able, The MGIP encourages a “Yes” vote on question 1. The MGIP supported the repeal effort in its early stages, collecting 9,000 signatures to help put it on the ballot.

Question 2 (Bond Issue):

“Do you favor a $26,500,000 bond issue that will create jobs through investment in an off-shore wind energy demonstration site and related manufacturing to advance Maine’s energy independence from imported foreign oil, that will leverage $24,500,000 in federal and other funds and for energy improvements at campuses of the University of Maine System, Maine Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy in order to make facilities more efficient and less costly to operate?”
MGIP recommends voting: Yes

In the MGIP’s vision of sustainable energy in Maine, emphasis is placed on a decentralized power grid whereby small-scale wind and solar projects augment large-scale conservation. The party questions whether large-scale, off-shore projects are the optimal plan for Maine, but view them as a step in the right direction.

The MGIP favors a “yes” vote on Question 2 because the energy improvements to Maine’s college systems are a critical step in the ultimate goal of energy independence. Research and development of wind projects in Maine will provide much needed green jobs to Maine. If off-shore wind is economically feasible and does not have a negative impact on the ocean habitat, the energy produced by these turbines may become a valuable part of Maine’s energy supply. If we are to invest in wind power, the people of Maine should see a return on that investment.

Question 3 (Bond Issue):

“Do you favor a $47,800,000 bond issue to create jobs in Maine through improvements to highways, railroads and marine facilities, including port and harbor structures, and specifying the allocation of $4,000,000 of the transportation bond approved by voters in November 2009 to be used for capital rail purposes?”
MGIP recommends voting: Yes

MGIP supports a “Yes” vote on Question 3, and urges that initiatives of developing an infrastructure of commuter rail throughout Maine will benefit from funding in this bond. The money allocated for the purchase of the almost 250 miles of rail owned by Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway in Aroostook county is very much needed to make improvements to the rail and keep freight rail open in Maine’s largest county.

Question 4 (Bond Issue):

“Do you favor a $23,750,000 bond issue to provide capital investment to stimulate economic development and job creation by making investments under the Communities for Maine’s Future Program and in historic properties; providing funding for research and development investments awarded through a competitive process; providing funds for disbursements to qualifying small businesses; and providing grants for food processing for fishing, agricultural, dairy and lumbering businesses within the State and redevelopment projects at the Brunswick Naval Air Station that will make the State eligible for over $39,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?”
MGIP recommends voting: Yes

A “Yes” vote is favored on Question 4 by the Maine Green Independent Party. Although the money allocated is a large amount, the funds are needed to encourage our economy to keep growing, especially with small businesses, food processing and lumber. The redevelopment projects at the Brunswick Naval Air Station will help Brunswick and the area make use of the unused portions of the base.

Question 5 (Bond Issue):

“Do you favor a $10,250,000 bond issue to improve water quality, support drinking water programs and the construction of wastewater treatment facilities and to assist farmers in the development of environmentally sound water sources that will leverage $33,250,000 in federal and other funds?”
MGIP recommends voting: Yes

The MGIP supports a “Yes” vote on question 5. Clean and potable water is one of our most valuable natural resources, investment in the treatment of wastewater and assisting farmers in being more “green” cannot be overlooked.

Dave Schwab

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