Debate at Convention
from Maine Townsman, October 2002)

       Three of the four candidates vying to be Maine’s next governor engaged in debate at MMA’s annual convention in Bangor.  Over 300 municipal officials packed the large conference room in the Auditorium to hear John Baldacci, Jonathan Carter and Peter Cianchette lay out their positions on issues from tax reform to learning results, regionalization to health care cost containment.

       Maine Public Television’s Don Carrigan had the moderator’s task of drawing out detailed answers from the gubernatorial hopefuls, who often prefer to focus on the goals of their administration rather than the specifics of change.

       The candidates’ responses to various questions are provided in this article.  One essential question that weaved its way through the debate was how many dollars can be saved by restructuring the delivery of local, educational and regional governmental services.  The major party candidates, John Baldacci and Peter Cianchette, focused on “efficiencies” as the key to solving the state’s looming structural deficit and easing the burden on the property tax.  Green Independent Jonathan Carter advocated for the identification and implementation of all the efficiencies that may be available, but included additional tax revenue in his overall plan to address the state’s financial predicament.  The candidates also expressed a range of opinions on comprehensive tax reform.  Carter endorsed it.  Baldacci was interested in looking at it.  Cianchette thought it should be deferred until “spending reforms” are implemented.

PDF File of Candidates' Responses  PDF