Please join me and vote for Jonathan Fulford
There are a lot of reasons to support Jonathan Fulford as Waldo County’s next Maine Senator. He won’t cut taxes for the wealthy and pass the bill to towns and schools. Every property owner in Maine is paying for that gift to those who needed it the least. He won’t try to take away voting rights from you, your families, or your neighbors. It’s only a few years ago the Maine’s “people’s veto” had to undo the work of well-trained Republican extremists in the legislature who limited the young, poor, and elderly’s right to vote. While nearly every state of the union is quickly and successfully expanding wind and solar; the State of Maine has had a climate of energy development denial. Jonathan Fulford will not turn his back on clean affordable energy. The last four years was supposed to be all about economic development but we are behind every state in New England because of a failed conservative experiment following a national play book that did not work. Jonathan Fulford won’t experiment on Maine. As a current Belfast City Council member and former Belfast Mayor I have seen firsthand the effects of the Maine legislature’s tax cuts and the cuts in school funding and municipal revenue sharing. These cuts hurt every Mainer. Jonathan Fulford will work to restore fair school and municipal support. Jonathan represents decency, honesty, common sense, hard work, and fairness. Please join me and vote for Jonathan Fulford. It is time for a change.
Honest, caring and hardworking
I told someone the other day that I was voting for Jonathan. They asked me “why?” I said because I like him. He is honest, caring and hardworking. They asked me about his platform. I said, “getting to know Jonathan over the past 15 years – that those qualities were enough for me because I am not a real political person. Not so for them. So, when Jonathan was in the other day, I asked him, “Why are you running for the Senate?” To hear his reasons and the passion in his voice for what he hopes to accomplish make me glad my choice for Senate was right on. Jonathan will make a wonderful Senator – so get out and vote.
Every once in a while in life you meet someone who makes you feel good about life. Jonathan Fulford’s moral commitment to the future, his solid character and good sense ideas for policies and programs made me feel good about America and our possible life, again.
Fulford has drive, and good ideas about education, jobs, and taxes. He also has a big picture of what the long haul will be like as we face local problems, national and global issues. He will help make Maine better. Please join me in supporting Jonathan Fulford for State Senate, District 11 – All of Waldo County.
Rev. Dr. Duncan Newcomer, Northport
Republican Journal, 10/23/14
Fulford for Fairer Taxes, Lower Property Taxes
As a former Belfast City Councilor, my most difficult task was to try to keep property taxes from rising. I have not envied the current Council, because drastic cuts in State Revenue Sharing (the amount that towns receive from the State) forced Belfast and towns throughout Maine to inflict pain on practically every property owner. In 2011, Belfast received $560,000 in state municipal revenue sharing. In 2014, it was reduced to $336,000, a reduction of 40%!
When Governor LePage took office, with Senator Mike Thibodeau’s enthusiastic support, one of his first measures was to increase the exemption for paying estate taxes from $1 million to $2 million, decreasing state revenue from estate taxes by almost half. This measure benefited approximately 600 Maine estates. Will yours be one of them?
The second measure was to lower the highest marginal tax rate for those Mainers with the highest incomes, again with Senator Thibodeau’s strong support. Have your property taxes increased more than your income tax has been reduced? If so, it is in your economic interest to vote for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate.
Jonathan has vowed to work hard to make taxes fairer for low and moderate income Maine families. I intend to vote for him, and I hope you will, too.
Pen Bay Pilot, 10/17/14
Support For Fulford
As a seventh-generation Mainer, I have always been proud to call Maine home. My husband and I feel fortunate to live in our home state, raising our son, enjoying the beauty and natural resources that Maine has to offer.
The biggest reason we are able to stay here is because we both found jobs working in renewable energy. Through our employment we are earning the middle class wages and benefits that our parents and grandparents worked hard for us to secure, an inheritance being realized by fewer and fewer Mainers.
Meanwhile, the chance to further those opportunities is being missed here in Maine. Economic planners both nationwide and as nearby as New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont are already seeing strong growth in jobs related to renewable energy. With that growth comes not just the ability to harness abundant, local energy that sits literally outside our windows, but also to provide meaningful, living-wage employment, allowing workers – specifically younger workers – to remain in Maine.
A recent report commissioned by the Maine Technology Institute concluded that “alternative energy is among the industries in Maine that show the most potential for job growth.” Meanwhile, Mike Thibodeau voted twice against a rebate bill for renewable energy system installations that would have been paid for through a five cent per month fee on the average homeowner’s electric bill. Those paying attention will have noticed that CMP rates just went up again by an average of three dollars per month (with Spanish parent company Iberdrola laughing all the way to their overseas bank), making sixty cents a year to support local jobs in renewable energy look like chump change.
Change of a different sort is what we need – a new senator for Waldo County who listens to the voices of his constituents and understands that the future of our state is held by young people who are looking to build something, not just “dig out.” As a voice of Maine’s new working generation, I ask you to support Jonathan Fulford for state senate this November.
Jennifer J. Albee
Pen Bay Pilot, 10/17/14
Please Consider Jonathan Fulford on Election Day
I have known Jonathan Fulford for more than 20 years, first as a co-worker and business partner, then as a friend, and now as a supporter of his candidacy for State Senate.
Jonathan has always been a tireless advocate for those in need, ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice to help a friend or stranger get through an emergency or difficult time in their life. As a homesteader, he understands the value of self-reliance and the skills of food production. As a business owner and general contractor, he knows how to manage people and stick to a budget and schedule to complete complex projects.
Jonathan has a great ability to bring people together to reach a common goal. He has knocked on thousands of doors in the last few months to hear what the people of Waldo County want and hope for the future. I believe he will bring that perspective to Augusta and initiate change that we desperately need. Change that will bring us more economic self-reliance, better job opportunities, and more sensible government policies. Please consider Jonathan on Election Day.
Free Press, 10/23/14
Mom Supports Fulford for Senate District II
I am a mom. When deciding who to vote for on November 4th, I’m considering who will help create the kind of world I want my three children to grow up in, the kind of world they will be raising their children in. For my kids, I want a world where everyone has a fair chance at success and everyone pays their fair share of society’s costs. I want a community that invests in and nurtures the next generation and takes good care of our elders. I want a world where everyone has equal rights and our privacy is respected. I want a society where everyone has health care and access to education. I want a world with clean air and water, a stable climate, and thriving farms and small businesses. Because I want all of these things, I will be voting for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate in Waldo County. I know that he shares my vision of a better future for our children and grandchildren and he has concrete ideas about how to get there.
Kennebec Journal, 10/20/14
Jonathan Fulford Has My Vote
Jonathan Fulford has my vote for state Senate for many reasons, but high on my list with his support for raising the minimum wage, fightingfor locally owned farms, and expanding health care for veterans andfamilies, is his position on public school education. I am an educatorwith forty years of experience, and I know the impact a qualityeducation makes in a child’s life.
Our schools need help – they are already underfunded by over $200million a year. Unlike Mr.Thibodeau and the LePage Administration positions he promotes, Jonathan Fulford will work to reinstate revenue sharing by closing offshore tax havens, loopholes for those who can afford to pay their fair share, and use those funds to restore 55% funding to the education budget that Mainers approved in referendum in 2004. This makes sense. Mr. Thibodeau, like the governor, endorses virtual charter schools, for-profit enterprises that often outsource their management to multinational corporations. Beholden to shareholders, the costs arebillable to taxpayers in the communities where students participate, possibly to the tune of $7000 – $9000 per pupil. I don’t think so.
In these difficult economic times, four-years of college may not be affordable and appropriate for everyone. I like Jonathan Fulford’s vision for developing trade school and apprenticeship programs. This plan in combination with Jonathan’s work to strengthen Maine’s Community Colleges, would truly offer students a more affordable education with an array of alternative choices. I like this prospect. Jonathan Fulford has cobbled together a history that demonstrates empathy for the working class families and small-scale farmers of Maine. As a small business owner, carpenter and farmer himself, it’s in his DNA. I believe a vote for Jonathan Fulford for Senate is a vote for our children’s future, for our communities, and for Maine itself. I urge Maine voters to join me in electing Jonathan Fulford to the Maine State Senate on November 4th.
Pen Bay Pilot, 10/21/14
Fulford will help pull Maine out of double crisis
As a retired public school teacher, I know firsthand about the financial difficulties facing our public schools. Simply put, public schools have been starved for revenue for years. We need to fund education at the (twice) voter-mandated 55%.
As for health care deficiencies; I work with people in the Restorative Justice Project in Waldo County who suffer because health care is being denied to low income men and women who need drug treatment. Maine’s uninsured population continues to rise—one of only two states in the country. The refusal of our Governor to allow federal Medicaid money into Maine contributes to this crisis.
Please! Vote for Jonathan Fulford on November 4th. Jonathan has the determination and stamina to move our state out of this dual crisis that must be resolved as soon as possible.
Kennebec Journal, 10/20/14
Exactly What I Expected
I searched the BDN website recently for stories about Waldo County Sen. Mike Thibodeau (R-Winterport) and found exactly what I expected. In almost every instance, Thibodeau supported positions that I, and I hope the majority of county voters, find indefensible. Here are some examples:
Thibodeau sponsored a bill that would require a public referendum for every tax or fee hike in Maine: Guess we don’t need a Legislature after all. He opposed a bill to improve energy efficiency in public buildings, spoke out against a measure that would set a target of 50 percent renewable energy for Maine, voted to deny low-income kids free lunches at public school summer programs, counseled “extreme caution” in raising the minimum wage in Maine, preferring a federal solution, and signed on to Gov. Paul LePage’s thoughtless opposition to Efficiency Maine. And that’s just for starters.
Waldo County voters have a clear and compelling alternative to the policies of Paul LePage and Mike Thibodeau in this year’s Senate race. Jonathan Fulford is hard-working, people-focused and open to the cooperative politics his opponent has done so much to stifle. Let’s send a clear message that Waldo County rejects LePage’s (and Thibodeau’s) partisanship. Take the high road and elect Jonathan Fulford to the Maine Senate.
Republican Journal, 10/16/14
Fulford Won’t Sell Out Farmers
Good news everybody, Maine farms are coming back! After more than a century of decline, the number of farms and the value of what is being produced in our state is growing–including right here in Waldo County. This is great news for Maine economically, socially, and environmentally. This trend, supported by consumer demand, has already brought us myriad benefits. Farmers markets sprouting up all over the state, abandoned land being reclaimed and put to work, and renewed connection to our farming heritage are a few such benefits. The biggest benefit has been the legions of smart, hardworking young people moving here and/or choosing to stay here. Our state desperately needs these people–that Maine has become an exciting place to start a life, a career, a family, is very good news.
This is exciting, but it is just the beginning. Maine is producing a relatively small amount of food compared to what it is capable of, and farms are still struggling to find economic sustainability. One major barrier to growth in this area has been the ability of small farms to penetrate big markets.
Last spring LD 1431, An Act to Support School Nutrition and Expand the Local Foods Economy, sought to provide a way to aggregate high quality food from small, local farms and get it into our local school lunches. Who could argue with such an initiative? No one in the state senate (at least not at first). After this bill was passed overwhelmingly by both houses it went to our Governor who promptly vetoed it. This is no surprise. We all already knew that when Lepage says he supports Maine business he doesn’t mean small local businesses trying to feed kids healthy food. What came as a shock was when it returned to the legislature and many former supporters switched their votes in order to be on the same side of the issue as the governor. The legislature failed to override the veto by just a few votes.
Senator Mike Thibodeau, currently representing Waldo County, was among the turncoats. The message he sent to Waldo County was that his right-wing ideology trumps his commitment to Maine farms. His allegiance to our partisan governor is higher than his interest in feeding kids healthy, local foods. Thibodeau’s support of Maine businesses really only means a certain kind of business—not the kind that is currently revitalizing our countryside and towns.
Jonathan Fulford would never sell out farmers like this. Jonathan has long been involved in local agriculture since the days of the back-to-the-land movement and even before. His children are farming right here in Monroe where he raised them, and I know personally that his commitment to our farmers is about as deep as it gets.
My name is Graham Mallory. I am a cattle farmer in Waldo County, and I am voting for Jonathan Fulford for state senate. We need a senator who prioritizes the local foods movement over the party line.
Republican Journal, 10/16/14
Fulford Would Help Restore Democracy
As an Independent voter, I am supporting Jonathan Fulford for the State Senate.
The rich and powerful are exerting ever-increasing control over our government. Unfair tax systems and subsidies, ultra-conservative media distortion, and privatization of public services hurt taxpayers. I want our government to protect us from these inequities.
Jonathan Fulford has a plan for tax reform that will ease our burden of high property taxes. He will be a part of government that works for you and me.
History bears out the efforts of the “common man” to defeat the tyranny of the rich and powerful. Jonathan Fulford is that “common man” who represents our best interests. He is a small business owner, a critical thinker and an informed citizen who won’t be coerced by the self-serving elite. It is time to restore democracy to Maine. It is time for Jonathan Fulford.
Kennebec Journal, 10/16/14
Fulford Restores Faith in Democracy
Jonathan Fulford, State Senate Candidate for Waldo County, is running a Clean Election campaign and that is a big reason why I am giving him my vote on November 4.
Big money in politics sets up politicians to favor financial supporters over public interests. Maine is one of the few states with a strong Clean Election Law, but it is undermined by large sums of independent spending from special interests seeking to influence elections through costly advertising and political tactics.
Jonathan Fulford restores my faith in democracy, spending every day of the last 5 months working in the morning, and then door-knocking in the afternoon and evening to speak with voters about their concerns.
Fulford encourages the teamwork we need in state government to end gridlock and move forward together. Voters from every party and persuasion can be proud of that kind of candidate.
Kennebec Journal, 10/16/14
Fulford’s Business Experience Can Help Maine Thrive
Small business and agriculture provide a way of life for many people in Maine. I am voting for Fulford for State Senate in Waldo County because he understands how state government can help small enterprises grow and thrive. He’s a successful small businessman whose employees speak highly of him because he pays a living wage, listens to different views, and solves problems.
I get tired of the constant drumbeat of anti-regulatory rhetoric from Republicans as the only solution to Maine’s economic woes. Some regulation needs reform, but some regulations take the long view and address health and safety, working conditions, and environmental impact.
Let’s look beyond rhetoric and support legislators who will assist small business in our naturally beautiful, hard working, and abundant state with practical solutions that boost credit, skill training, innovative and sustainable technology, and new markets for agriculture and commerce.
Kennebec Journal, 10/15/14
Affordable Healthcare and Jonathan Fulford
My husband and I are self-employed as farmers. As any self-employed worker in Maine can tell you, paying for health insurance was a nightmare in Maine prior to the Affordable Care Act.
Since the ACA (“Obamacare”) came in and we signed up for Maine Community Health, our monthly premiums have dropped by nearly 20%, and our deductible has plummeted from $15,000 to $2,500. This gives us a fighting chance of making a living at farming, without losing our farm if we get sick.
Mike Thibodeau opposed the ACA. He continues to oppose MaineCare for those who need it most, even though it would cost Maine taxpayers nothing. This defies common sense. Affordable health care is essential for stimulating small enterprise. Jonathan Fulford supports affordable health care, farmers, and small business. This is why we support Fulford for State Senate in Waldo County.
Pen Bay Pilot, 10/14/14
Maine Must Market the Energy Solutions It Already Has
It’s not a secret that Maine home owners spend a lot of money staying warm each winter. A combination of old housing stock, high latitudes, and the wicked winter Nor’easter storms that buffet us with icy winds and copious snow make home heating a challenge. Even when Mainers can afford to buy an older home, they can’t always afford to retrofit that home with modern materials that can significantly reduce their heating costs. Therefore they end up paying 21st century heating costs to stay warm in 19th century architecture that assumed a burning fireplace in every occupied room.
Thankfully, the State of Maine has created a solution: offering homeowners low-interest loans to pay for an energy audit to identify where the biggest improvements can be affordably made, hiring qualified contractors to follow the prescriptions of that energy audit, and then re-testing the home to verify that the work was done completely and successfully. This benefits the owner (a warmer house that costs less to heat), the Maine economy (contractors employ lots of people to do this work), and contributes directly to Maine’s energy independent future. Back when it was called a “HELP Loan” (it’s now called an “ENERGY LOAN”) I took advantage of this and went from burning six cord of wood and a full tank of oil to burning 2 to 3 cord of wood and a quarter tank of oil. The loan will pay for itself in about seven years while at the same time my house is so much warmer!
The only problem is that no one knows about these programs through Efficiency Maine. Mainers still pay too much to barely heat their homes, contractors won’t hire a lot of workers, and Maine efforts at energy independence are made much tougher.
I support Jonathan Fulford in his bid for Waldo County’s state senate seat because his first priority is to Build A Better Maine, literally. He will make sure that every homeowner knows about sensible opportunities like this, and every homeowner who needs this help will get the help. Too often the best parts of government are hidden under a bushel because state government doesn’t understand the need for marketing good ideas. Jonathan Fulford understands that Mainers need to hear about what is important to them and to Maine.
Pen Bay Pilot, 10/10/14
Where is the Democratic Process?
As a first time candidate in the diverse Senate District 11, (which includes all 26 towns in Waldo County) it is not easy for Jonathan Fulford to run a Clean Election campaign. Jonathan has gone door to door to thousands of homes in these towns. People are concerned about the future of our state, the disparity between the wealthy and the middle class, and money in politics.
Many of the people contacted wish to go beyond the campaign slogans and hear the important issues debated in public. Jonathan Fulford responded positively to a proposal to debate Senator Thibodeau. Like our Governor, Senator Thibodeau has resisted a formal debate, depriving citizens of a time-honored democratic process. Now that LePage has finally agreed to debate the issues, perhaps Thibodeau will afford both candidates the opportunity to share their views with Waldo County voters.
While the incumbent, Mike Thibodeau, receives funding from out-of-state or corporate interests. Jonathan Fulford takes no corporate monies. In order to make an informed judgment on who will best represent the people of Waldo County and not promote outside interests, voters need a an opportunity to hear the candidates debate the issues of Waldo County.
Will the Thibodeau campaign support the democratic process and provide a public debate?
Republican Journal, 10/9/14
Climate Crisis Prompts Run
I have deep concerns (and hope) for our planet. The Climate Crisis is here, not sometime in the future. Jonathan Fulford is committed to acting. His willingness to engage this challenge that is affecting all of us, has inspired me to commit to being part of the solution.
I acknowledge how painful, difficult and confusing confronting this reality is. Melting polar regions, droughts, unusual storms, acidification of the oceans, deforestation and more. But, this is where we are.
As challenging as this situation is, we can be part of the solution. We aren’t helpless. It is a choice. We can look at the facts, recognize the problem, and then choose to respond. Jonathan is doing just this.Talking with Jonathan, I understand the Climate Crisis prompted him to act, to run for Senate, to move us in the direction of a life-sustaining society.
The Climate Crisis is connected to many other challenges we all face. Jonathan’s Clean Election Candidacy supports an election based on people, not money. The power of the money in the fossil fuel industry is slowing our ability to transition to safe, sustainable, non-polluting energy sources. Jonathan’s leadership style of valuing and listening to many voices demonstrates understanding of our interconnectedness and that we can only succeed by working together. The Climate Crisis is a real opportunity for us to work together. By working with Jonathan we can choose to engage, be empowered and creative as we work in the right direction.
Hank Reisner, Belfast,
Republican Journal, 10/9/14
Fulford Will Protect Local Food Production
Farming in Waldo County is becoming rejuvenated, attracting young, innovative farmers. This is enhanced by the leadership of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners, and Maine Farmland Trust. Jonathan Fulford supports local farming and will reverse anti-farming measures supported by Governor LePage and Michael Thibodeau.
Right now, most of our tax payer dollars help fund institutional food buying and go to out-of-state corporations like Sysco and Aramark, instead of to Maine farms and Maine’s economy. Maine’s food trade can be reorganized towards state and local economies, and away from multi-national, globalized food corporations. Our legislators should help this process. If we want more Maine jobs, we need to craft policies that promote growth and strengthen Maine’s economy, not divert resources away from our farms and fishermen.
Our current administration demonstrated lack of support for local agriculture by the veto of two bills by LePage; vetoes sustained by Senator Thibodeau last session:
The measure LD 1431 encouraged the use of Maine-produced food in Maine schools and supported the creation of “food hubs” where locally produced food could be stored and distributed. This new law would have made it easier for local foods to get from farm to market. It represented collaboration between the departments of agriculture and education to grow institutional markets here in Maine for our farmers and fishermen.
LD 1254 would have required schools and state agencies to ramp up how much Maine-produced food they purchase, and would have set benchmarks to ensure compliance.
There is real meaning and responsibility behind the slogan: Buy Local. Farmers, fishermen and agricultural businesses deserve to see government endorsement of their work. I want my local legislator to work for the farmers of Waldo County.
Vote Fulford for State Senate.
Free Press, 10/9/14
Fulford For Mainers
Have you noticed all the signs that are cropping up around Waldo county saying, “Vote for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate”? These signs were made with materials that supporters dug out of their barns, garages and basements. These signs were made by volunteers who believe strongly that Jonathan Fulford is the best candidate for Waldo county.
Jonathan elected to run his campaign according to the Maine Clean Election Act rules. He can accept no funds from outside groups, or entities. The only money the Fulford campaign can use is money donated by individuals using their own personal funds (no business credit cards accepted).
Jonathan has chosen to take this route in order to be beholden to no one, except his constituents, when he elected. He wants to help Mainers; real Mainers. He wants to work to improve the lives of the working middle and lower classes, the elderly and yes, the poor as well. He wants to find ways to allow us all to enjoy energy at a reasonable price without damaging Maine’s precious natural resources.
You won’t see expensive TV ads, nor will you receive expensively printed flyers. You might receive a phone call or a knock on your door from a volunteer, or from Jonathan himself. He wants to personally talk to everyone in Waldo county; to hear what is concerning local folks so that he can better serve us when he gets to the state house.
Jonathan Fulford is for Maine and Mainers.
Bangor Daily News 10/7/14
Fulford Will Protect Our Future
As a mother of young children, I am keenly aware that the world my girls will inherit will be quite different from the one in which I grew up. I feel so lucky to live in Maine, where there is wilderness for them to explore, clean air and water to take into their bodies, and abundant, wholesome local food. I am excited by the new emphasis on everything local, and I think all Mainers can get behind the idea of spending our hard-earned cash at our neighbors’ farms and businesses rather than sending our dollars out of state.
Yet I can’t help but wonder whether our leaders are too focused on short-term gains and too dependent on corporate donors to do what’s right for the long term. Too often we choose the path that will bring us the greatest ease and comfort while passing the real costs of our choices on to our children.
This November I will be voting for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate because he is someone I trust to take the long view, to make the hard decisions while keeping future generations in mind. As a Clean Elections candidate, Jonathan will only have to answer to his conscience and not wealthy donors. I know Jonathan will work to keep our air, water, and wild places safe and clean as well as protect and grow a vibrant local economy. Our children deserve such a candidate fighting for their world, and so do we.
Pen Bay Pilot, 10/6/14
Why I’ll Be Voting For Jonathan Fulford
Diplomacy and respect. Integrity and tact. We could use more of these qualities at the State House in Augusta. That’s why I’ll be voting for Jonathan Fulford for state senate representing Waldo County next month. With Jonathan’s ability to listen, to get opposing sides working together, and to do so in a respectful manner, I know he’ll do a fine job.
I first got to know Jonathan when my partner and I bought an old house in Belfast and hired his company to do large renovation job. When my partner and I had a difference of opinion, Jonathan was a master at listening to both sides, without criticizing, finding a mutually satisfying solution. Frequently we were as impressed by his maturity and common sense as his carpentry skills.
Although he is a compassionate leader, he is no push-over; he has backbone. He is willing to look at both sides of an issue and is open to compromise, but he won’t sacrifice his integrity. He is smart and well-informed, and clearly has learned a lot from years spent running a business in Waldo County.
Has Jonathan knocked on your door yet? There’s a good chance he has, but if he hasn’t, take advantage of the chance to talk to him. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, an Independent or a Green, or none of the above, you’ll find Jonathan Fulford is the sort of man who will work for all of us in Augusta.
Elizabeth H. Bowen
Free Press, 10/2/14
Fulford Will Support Efforts for Fair State and Local Taxes
Governor LePage, supported by Senator Thibodeau, has used cuts to income tax, public employee pensions, and estate taxes to transfer tens of millions of dollars to the richest Mainers. Legislators have shifted the costs of education, road maintenance, fire and police protection, and emergency assistance to families to Maine’s municipalities. This has resulted in higher property taxes for many low-and middle-income Mainers, making an already unfair state and local tax system even worse.
LePage and Thibodeau have often argued that their redistribution of taxes has not favored the wealthy. But here are the disturbing facts.
The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) estimated that total state and local tax bills – resulting from cuts to property tax relief and state aid to municipalities and local schools – will increase for 270,000 families, or 40% of Maine’s taxpayers. For every dollar earned, the richest 1%—those earning over $323,000 per year—paid 10 cents in state and local taxes. The middle 20%—those earning between $23,000 and $42,000 per year—paid 12 cents on the dollar. Meanwhile, the bottom 20%—many of whom may be single mothers earning less than $12,000 per year—paid 17 cents on the dollar. Property taxes hit the middle class the hardest.
It’s time to close the loopholes that make working Mainers pick up the tab for the rich to get richer. And it’s time we elect Jonathan Fulford to the State Senate because he understands that both morally and economically, Maine deserves tax and budget policies that ask everyone to do their fair share.
Republican Journal 9/25/14
Former U.S. Congressman “Tip” O’Neill is famous for saying, “All politics is local.” I am voting for Jonathan Fulford to represent Waldo County voters in the Maine State Senate because he exemplifies the deep wisdom behind O’Neill’s remark. Fulford has personally knocked on thousands of doors across our county, has listened more than talked, and heard what residents of all ages and from all walks of life care about most. Jonathan is not an ideologue. I have watched him walk up to a double-wide trailer and spend 20 minutes inside while I turn the car around and prepare to drive him to the next address on our list. He walked back to the car, sat down and said, “Well, I don’t know that I got their vote, but they wanted to talk and I was there to listen.”
Jonathan Fulford is the person I want to represent Waldo County in Augusta –because I believe he can represent our interests and needs best.
Republican Journal, Free Press 9/25/14
Fulford: A Man of Integrity
One thing we all want in our government representatives is integrity. That is why I’m voting for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate. I have never met anyone with more integrity than Jonathan.
I have worked on building jobs with him for over 30 years and have always found him to be fair and respectful of everyone he deals with: workers, customers, and suppliers. If there is a question or problem, he really listens to everyone and tries to find a solution that works for all. If he doesn’t agree with you, you will know it, and exactly why. He won’t vote for a bill one week, and then vote to sustain a governor’s veto of the same bill the next week (something Mile Thibodeau has done more than once).
If you value integrity in government, join me in sending Jonathan Fulford to the State Senate in Waldo County.
Philip Dalto, Monroe
Kennebec Journal, 9/23/14
I have known Maine Senate candidate Jonathan Fulford for nearly 30 years. I know Jonathan through a lens that few others do. On several occasions we have paddled wilderness rivers in Quebec with a small group of friends. You learn a lot about a person during a week or more in a remote area with no help nearby. There are difficult challenges that require skillful decisions and actions to keep everyone safe and healthy.
What I know about Jonathan is that he is smart and resourceful, and knows how to work well with others. He thinks and responds well under pressure, he keeps a sense of humor even when everyone is dog-tired, and he is a tireless worker. I would go anywhere with Jonathan, and I can’t think of a better person to represent Waldo County in the state legislature. I encourage you to support him as well.
Bangor Daily News 9/23/14
Fulford: A Worker for Our Community
Jonathan Fulford is a visible worker for our community. He is a do-er and an investigator. At a presentation for the Penobscot Bay Stewards, he spoke about the Come Boating! organization’s activities and contributions to the citizens of the Penobscot Bay area. His personal characteristics and values were evident as he spoke. Though his focus was on this coastal organization located on Belfast Harbor, it was abundantly clear that his concern for and knowledge about Waldo County and its citizenry was equal to his familiarity with the health of the Bay and the recreational assets of Come Boating!
One might describe his perspective as 1.) encompassing, 2.) having vital connections, and 3.) environmentally sound.
Jonathan first listened to us, and then responded both thoughtfully and knowledgeably. He is, I believe, a very keen ecologist. This makes him so suitable to represent the unique and varied perspectives of the people in Waldo County as a member of the Maine State Senate.
Beth C. Henderson
Republican Journal 9/12/14
Supporting Small Business
I am writing in support of Jonathan Fulford who is running for State Senate. I live near Jonathan in Monroe, and he has been a great neighbor for decades now. He is one of the very few who listen first, think second, speak last. I have learned to listen when he speaks. You can hear that he is including all voices, not just a few.
I am very glad that Jonathan is running for State Senate as I believe he will actually represent us, the people of Monroe and of Waldo County instead of out-of-state interests. It seems as though things in Monroe are changing and maybe getting better. Jonathan has been a part of that as he understands the importance of local jobs over big industry, work for farmers big and small, and local folks running small businesses – all of which get little attention in Augusta.
Mainers are naturally industrious. It would be nice if the state backed off and let us thrive, but large corporations from out of state want to set the rules that hurt small business. It’s not fair for the large corporations to get tax breaks that add to the tax burden for all of us, including those in small business. We are not out to conquer the world. We are just trying to make a living, raise our families and enjoy the great place we call home.
Can we send someone to Augusta who might actually help us?
Bangor Daily News 9/5/14
Fulford Will Help Expand Medicaid
I have been working as a family physician for most of the last 30 years in eastern Maine, and have seen first-hand the destructive effect our health system has had on Maine families. I can’t even count the number of patients who sought healthcare too late because of lack of insurance, and have paid the ultimate price for it.
Like many of my colleagues, I now care for families who, through Obamacare, have health insurance for the first time, and are getting the preventive services and early treatment they need.
That is why I’m for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate in Waldo County. The LePage administration, backed by Senator Mike Thibodeau, has refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. As a result, over 20,000 Mainers have been excluded from the care they need. Jonathan Fulford will work to ensure affordable health care is available to all Mainers.
Peter S. Millard, MD, PhD
Dr. Millard is a physician at Seaport Community Health Center in Belfast
Republican Journal 9/4/14
Friend and Neighbor
As a kid growing up in Monroe, I counted Jonathan Fulford as a friend and neighbor. I went to school with his children, and his home was always a center for creativity, learning, and community. Jonathan taught me to value the opinions not just of adults or of my peers, but of younger children, too– something he taught by example, asking for and respecting the perspectives of us kids and not only of the adults around us.
Jonathan was generous with his time and knowledge. He lent his talents as a carpenter, a gardener, and a caring adult to neighbors, school projects, and games of capture the flag. He exhibited faith in our abilities, celebrated our successes, and supported our failures, making sure we learned from our experiences and felt wiser, not weaker when we fell short of our goals.
One particularly vivid memory: when I was four years old, Jonathan helped save my father’s life. Pinned under a tractor in a field behind our house, no one would have heard my father yelling for help if Jonathan, who was nearby splitting wood, hadn’t heard and sprinted toward the sound.
I have the utmost faith that if elected to the Maine State Senate, Jonathan Fulford will similarly respect, advocate for, and work to protect the people of the State of Maine.
Bangor Daily News 9/2/14
Like Robin Hood Backward
To the editor:
I am 94 years old. I served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1946. The transport ship that I was serving on in 1942 was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Africa. I served the rest of the war on the aircraft carrier Langley in the Pacific.
Like the men I served with in World War II, I fought willingly and proudly for my country. We were defending the land of opportunity where any boy could grow up to be President and where anyone who worked hard could provide for his family. The America I fought for was where every kid was guaranteed a good public education. No matter how poor his family, a child could get an education, work hard, and make something of himself.
I don’t see that today. Today families work hard, they try to save and they do everything right, but they can’t get ahead. Sometimes they can’t even get by.
It’s not like this everywhere. I read the news. Some states are doing well and others are not. Maine is not.
Anyone can see why Maine isn’t doing as well as other states. It’s because Governor LePage and the politicians who always vote his way, like Senator Thibodeau of Waldo County, push policies that hurt us. The big tax cut for wealthy people they’re always boasting about left the State strapped for cash, and then they used that as an excuse to cut education, cut the circuit breaker, and cut revenue sharing that helps keep our property taxes down. It’s like Robin Hood backwards, stealing from the poor to give to the rich. They said it would stimulate the economy, but it hasn’t and it won’t. It hurt our economy. When you give big tax breaks to rich people there’s no guarantee they’ll use the extra money to hire another gardener or buy a Maine-built boat. It’s more likely they will put it in a Swiss bank account, or invest it in Dubai, or buy a vacation house in Florida. But if you keep money in the pockets of working families here in Waldo County, they spend it at Tozier’s, or Reny’s, or hire a local man to fix their roof. That’s what gets a local economy going.
My family and I are going to vote for Mike Michaud for governor and Jonathan Fulford for State Senator from Waldo County. Mr. Fulford works for a living. He understands that letting the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is not good for our economy. He knows that when working Mainers earn enough money to provide for their families, that is what will create jobs. The Governor and his friend Thibodeau have it exactly backwards.
Louis Ares, Sr.
Free Press, 8/28/14, Republican Journal, 8/28/14
Fulford Supports Creating Effective Fraud Deterrents
“Welfare fraud” is a political “hot button”issue. Yet, there is agreement that systemic, expensive fraud concerns us all, and that we want public assistance funds to be properly used. The question is how best to do this.
Maine seems to be ignoring the experience of other states. Massachusetts and Missouri put photos on EBT cards hoping to create savings and to deter fraudulent use. It didn’t. Both states abandoned photos because the process cost money and did not deter fraud. After thorough reviews, Tennessee and Rhode Island decided not to start. Now, Maine wants to put photos on EBT cards. Will that save money? The evidence from other states says “No.”
Meanwhile, nursing homes need help. Where is some of the money to help nursing homes coming from? From “Medicaid savings?” Well, not really. $4 million is coming from recovering some of the Medicaid overpayments to service providers due to a “faulty billing system” that should not have happened at all.
If we want to save big money for Maine taxpayers, stopping the one-third of 1% of unapproved uses of EBT cards won’t do it. Rectifying mismanagement and identifying large-scale fraud is a better answer. But don’t phone the Governor or his Minority Leader in the Senate, Mike Thibodeau: they are not listening.
I’ll be voting for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate in Waldo County – Fulford supports creating effective fraud deterrents to save money for a system that helps those in real need.
Free Press 8/28/14
Keep Our Fishing Jobs: Vote Fulford
On August 4, the Bangor Daily News reported on the controversy surrounding expanding aquaculture leases along the Bagaduce River. One thing that the article did not mention is that shellfish aquaculture, and indeed, shellfish generally, are in great danger because of increasing ocean acidification. Oysters, crabs, mussels and other bivalves are suffering because the increase in ocean acidification keeps oysters, for example, from forming effective shells, and mussel threads from being able to attach to rocks.
The result? The amount of these farmed shellfish harvested has dropped precipitously in the U.S. Taking eastern oysters as an example, the National Marine Fisheries Service declared the harvest in 2012 was about a third of what it was in 1952! Why is the ocean getting so acidic? Because we are putting lots of carbon into the ocean: about 30% of the carbon we put into the atmosphere ends up in the top layer of the ocean. States around the country, including Maine, have established commissions to figure out how to deal with this increasing ocean acidity. Here’s my suggestion: don’t put the carbon into the ocean in the first place!
Paul LePage and Mike Thibodeau want to spend $75 million a year of ratepayer money to subsidize a new carbon fuel pipeline. We need to develop alternative non-carbon based energy sources and we need to do it now. That’s why I’m voting for Jonathan Fulford for state senate. He will work for a cleaner energy future for Maine – and our oceans.
Free Press, 8/28/14
Supporting Fulford, Environment
I want clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. I want regulations to protect all citizens of Maine from toxic chemicals seeping into the air and ground water. I want laws to keep toxins out of products we buy. I also want to know what is in the food we eat, and I support GMO food labeling. I am concerned about climate change and believe we should support and subsidize solar/wind/wave energy development to the same extent oil and gas industries are supported and subsidized. Cutting carbon emissions becomes more critical every year; more sustainable sources of energy must become our energy of wisest choice.
In the last three years, Mike Thibodeau has voted “No” 13 times on bills to protect people and the environment.
If you feel the same way about these issues, and want to say “No” to the current administration’s push for development at any price, please join me in voting for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate.
Jonathan is running as a Clean Elections candidate so he won’t be beholden to campaign funders. He won’t have money to pay for media advertisements, unlike his opponent who will have plenty of Tea Party money to fund his media blitz.
Jonathan Fulford will work to help small businesses increase employment opportunities while preserving the environment and the beauty of Maine, a precious commodity that must be respected and cared for.
Janet Williams, Searsport
Republican Journal, 8/21/14
Support a Green Future
Sitting in line waiting for gasoline during the first oil crisis back in
the 70s started me thinking about energy. After years of study, what I now know is that burning fossil fuels, except for some very limited purposes where the high density energy they provide is irreplaceable by anything else, must stop. It despoils our planet. Fossil fuel burning is a major cause of respiratory ailments which cause many unnecessary deaths. Global warming is real, directly related to fossil fuel use, and threatens to cause a level of human suffering unprecedented in the history of humans. Despite claims (mostly Republican) to the contrary, the science linking climate change to the activities of man is as convincing as it is inconvenient. It is an ultimate irony that conservatives, who are so concerned with the possibility that our grandchildren might have a large burden of debt due to federal spending, are equally unconcerned that we are leaving them the world so despoiled that survival may literally not be possible. On the other hand, were the US to default on every penny of its debt, life would still go on largely unchanged. Finally, we are running out of fossil fuels. When we have to turn to something like fracking to find the energy we need, you know the resource is getting scarce.
In 1978 I built a house that uses no fossil fuel whatsoever. I can testify that I enjoy all the conveniences and comforts. The cost of construction was basically the same as any other house. If we do it now, while we still have the luxury of some fossil fuel left to help us manufacture the green future, the transition to a renewable energy economy need not be painful. If we wait until our backs are against the wall, as without action they surely will be someday fairly soon, the transition will be difficult. Is this what we want for our grandchildren? They will curse us and rightfully so!
For this reason, I am writing to urge people to put down their traditional political ideologies and loyalties and vote for candidates who support a green future. To this end, I would like to recommend the candidacy of Jonathan Fulford for State Senate. The voting record of Mr. Thibodeau, the incumbent, clearly demonstrates that he does not grasp the necessity of making these changes.
Keith Hutchinson, M.D.
Republican Journal 8/14/14
Jonathan Fulford: A Person for the People
Jonathan Fulford offers a unique opportunity to set straight many of the policy shifts promoted by Paul LePage and his Tea Party pal in the Senate, Mike Thibodeau. Jonathan Fulford supports the citizens of Waldo County over the interests of large corporations and understands that reducing taxes for the wealthiest results in rising overall taxes for the majority of us.
Sen. Thibodeau runs a political action committee called “Paving the Way for a Prosperous Maine,” which, since its inception in September 2011, has received contributions from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a proxy for the Koch brothers and affiliated entities like Pharma, Spectra Energy, and the American Chemistry Council.
Thibodeau is also a member of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force. ALEC invites ideologues like Thibodeau to legislative retreats where they push their corporate agenda and urge attendees to pass legislation written by corporate lobbyists. These bills pursue an increasingly extreme agenda and lead to partisan gamesmanship so familiar to us with LePage and Thibodeau in office.
These corporations do not have the interests of Mainers in mind, and neither do the elected officials who follow their directives like sheep. It’s time for real representation for Waldo County. I will vote for Jonathan Fulford for State Senate because he has a vision for the future of Maine, a future that does not include selling our state to the highest corporate bidder.
Bangor Daily News, 8/9/14, Pen Bay Pilot, 8/4/14, Republican Journal 8/7/14
Fulford Offers a Chance for Change
In my small town of Stockton Springs, there is much concern about the quality of education we can give our children and rising property taxes. These issues are tightly linked, thanks to the largest reduction in income tax collection in the history of the State of Maine. It is more accurately referred to as a tax shift, which has resulted in an estimated drop in State revenue of $79 million in 2013. State funding to schools plummeted, sending towns scrambling for ways to keep them open, including raising property taxes. In my town, the elementary school didn’t make the cut – it closed.
For nearly 30 years, my husband and I were able to save enough to pay our property taxes, using the State’s Circuit Breaker and Homestead Exemption tax relief programs. Then suddenly, when the LePage budget passed, the safety net was cut, threatening the security of staying in our home. Foreclosures are all around us – just check the papers for the unending announcements of foreclosed homes.
Mike Thibodeau supported the Governor’s budget that proposed to eliminate the property tax relief that we depend on. I called Mike and told him I needed the Circuit Breaker in order to stay in our home. He thanked me for the call, said he’d consider my comments. And I guess he did. He considered my comments to be irrelevant, and voted to gut the property tax relief that kept thousands of people like us in our homes. He voted to reduce the amount available for this tax relief by an estimated $73.4 million, and made it harder to qualify for it.
Mr. Thibodeau voted to shift the burden of paying for education and teachers’ retirement to the towns’ property tax payers. It is tightly linked.
Senator Thibodeau may be proud of the unprecedented tax cuts, but meanwhile, the Maine Center for Economic Policy notes that the average tax cut for most working families in Maine will be a measly $83, while upper income earners will take home an average of $874, and those who earn more than $363,438 — just one percent of the population of the state — will take home an extra $2,770, on average. Is this fair?
Mike Thibodeau congratulated Gov. LePage for vetoing the compromise budget, even though it contained a 64% increase in State aid to his own town, Winterport. When the Legislature overturned the veto, he voted against the override.
I am a low-income, elderly homeowner, and I want Jonathan Fulford to be my next State Senator, because I want to stay in my home.
On his website, (http://www.fulfordforme.org/), Mr. Fulford says, “We can lower taxes on middle and working class families and still provide for quality schools, plowed roads, and ready firefighters by making sure corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.” I’ve known Jonathan for many years, and I trust him. I urge everyone to vote for Jonathan, he’s a man of his word, who cares about the well-being of every one of us. This is our chance for change.
Republican Journal 8/7/14
Fulford is a Practical Thinker
Most Waldo County voters are aware by now that there is an obvious connection between energy efficiency and our regional economic prospects. As a practical thinker, builder Jonathan Fulford grasps the importance of building homes which leave the least possible carbon footprint.
Fulford also understands the importance of extending this basic principle to the need to craft legislation to guide our transition from fossil fuels toward the carbon free sources of solar, wind and tidal. It is clear that we face difficult changes, but it is also clear that Maine is well-positioned to make this transition. By tapping into these energy sources we will also create jobs and spur economic growth right here in Waldo County. If only reactionary legislators following a private agenda could be replaced by practical thinkers.
Maine’s economic future is tied to energy efficiency. Directly or indirectly, the cost of energy has an impact on our agriculture, forests, endangered fisheries, including lobsters, and the survival our infrastructure.
This is only one of the many reasons that Jonathan Fulford is my logical choice to represent Waldo County in the State Senate.
Larry Litchfield, Belfast
Free Press, 7/31/14
As a science teacher, Registered Maine Guide, and parent, I am concerned about the effect that global climate change is having on the world in general, and on Maine, in particular. I see species ranges changing, invasive species intruding, and worldwide damage resulting from the rising intensity of storms, floods, droughts and fires. These changes are escalating.
A hard economic blow is predicted. A group of business people, including the former Secretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush, has done a business-based risk analysis of the economic effects if we do nothing different. The results terrify me. Annual costs from storm damage alone over a 20 year period may incur Maine losses of “most likely” around a quarter of a billion dollars! And that doesn’t count costs of changes in labor productivity or the other factors the risk assessment studied. The report is at riskybusiness.org.
So what is state government doing? “Head in the sand,” politely, but worse. The current administration, supported in the Legislature by Republican leaders like Mike Thibodeau, is blocking the way of alternative energy development, for example, preferring to support a multibillion dollar fossil fuel pipeline that Maine taxpayers will have to help pay for.
Jonathan Fulford (D-Monroe) supports the development of alternative energy in Maine, and other steps to reduce the impact of global climate crisis for our children and our world. I will be voting for him for State Senate for Waldo County in November.
Republican Journal 7/17/14, Bangor Daily News 7/22/14
I attend a lot of community meetings: meetings about RSU 20, the closing of Stockton Harbor to lobstering, the proposed Searsport dredging project and community concerns of all kinds. For months now I have been seeing Jonathan Fulford almost everywhere I go. At first I didn’t know who he was. He doesn’t act like a politician. He doesn’t look for opportunities to speak or call attention to himself. He just sits quietly and he listens.
Once I got to know him, he explained that he tries to attend important meetings in all the towns of Waldo County because, although he has lived and worked in Waldo County since he was a young man, he feels there is still a lot about the County that he needs to learn. And I learned why he doesn’t act like a politician. He isn’t one. This is the first time he has run for office.
I have never seen Mike Thibodeau at any community meetings. Maybe he attends some, if the subjects are important to him, but I’ve never seen him. What I like about Jonathan is that he comes to community gatherings to learn about the things that are important to us: the people of Waldo County. He is working to understand the real issues and concerns of the people of Waldo County so he can represent our interests in the State Senate.
If you would like to understand how this makes Jonathan Fulford different from the incumbent, just Google “Michael Thibodeau and ALEC”. This search will bring up several articles that show very clearly whose interests Mr. Thibodeau represents.
I’m voting for Jonathan Fulford.
Republican Journal 7/17/14
A Vet Speaks Out for Fulford
My experience as a Viet Nam veteran has left me with an attitude of complete disenchantment with politics at the national level, and until recently I have painted local politics with the same brush. But now a longtime neighbor of mine has entered the ring, and I am forced to reconsider my blanket disaffection.
I am supporting Jonathan Fulford for State Senate in District 11, Waldo County, because he has convinced me that much can be done on the state level to support veterans and all Mainers in the areas of health care, education, job creation and training, housing, and protecting the overall environment that we live in. Jonathan has demonstrated his ability and his values in the way he has lived his life here in Waldo County. I am confident that I could not be better represented, and that my support, combined with that of my neighbors can be an effective force for positive change.
Bangor Daily News, 7/13/14
Veterans Need Attention
I congratulate Representative Stanley Short, Jr. and other legislators on actions taken in the 126th session of the Maine state legislature on behalf of veterans. His Op Ed piece reminded me of the important role states have in funding and implementing veterans programs and services in their home states.
Representative Short highlighted some of the proactive, bipartisan legislation on veteran’s education, housing, treatment, and other benefits. However, larger ideological fights overshadowed their good work and shortchanged veterans and their families.
Governor LePage, with Republican backing, did not show support to veterans when their cuts to education and the veto of Medicaid expansion curtailed veteran’s educational opportunities and health coverage. Access to affordable healthcare and education are fundamental to help veterans resume life back at home. Maine best serves veterans when it funds these services and partners with the federal government and nonprofits to extend benefits to Mainers who have served in the Armed Services.
I am supporting Jonathan Fulford for State Senate in District 11, Waldo County. He represents the kind of change veterans need in Augusta. He will adequately fund Maine’s community colleges and vocational schools so veterans who use their GI bill can count on getting the skills they need to succeed at work here. And Fulford will work to gain healthcare coverage for the 3,000 veterans and their families who were denied coverage by the LePage veto of Medicaid expansion last year.
Bangor Daily News, 7/12/14
Fulford: A Needed Change for Waldo County
Waldo County needs a change in its State Senate representation, and – happily for us! – Jonathan Fulford is the man to carry out that change. In a meeting in Belfast last weekend, Jonathan met with scores of citizens to tell us about his plans and policies. He is firm, informed, and thoroughly progressive: he wants and will work for fair tax policies, accessible health care for all, and a clean, sustainable environment.
As a small business owner himself, Jonathan supports small businesses and farms, and the kind of job creation that won’t run out on Maine, but will sustain the state’s resources over the long run. He’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, and he will be a legislative ally to Wabanaki people. And, he is running a truly clean campaign.
Jonathan Fulford deserves our support! Together, we can send him to Augusta.
Republican Journal, 7/3/14
Vote for Fair Taxes: Vote Fulford
It seems that every time I open a newspaper in Waldo county today, there is an article about a town council having to raise property taxes while cutting back services, or a school board wrestling with how many teachers to lay off and still having to raise taxes. In large part, this is because state revenue sharing with municipalities has been cut in real dollars – it is now about $80 million less than it was in 2007 – and because the state is not paying the 55% of school expenses mandated by a citizen initiative several years ago.
And why isn’t the state meeting its financial obligations to our towns and schools? One big reason is the income tax cut for the most well off Mainers that the legislature passed in 2011. That reduction in state income has meant that the state had to cut something, and among the things cut was revenue sharing to towns and state aid to education.
Many would say that cutting taxes is a good thing, and it would be if the overall taxes that we regular people pay really did decline. But we not only pay state income taxes and state sales taxes, we also pay town property taxes and school taxes, and for most of us those taxes have actually gone up. As Joe Slocum, the city manager in Belfast said recently “The state said, ‘Oh, we’ll cut taxes’. No, they haven’t. They shifted taxes.”
Mike Thibodeau led the fight to reduce taxes for wealthy Mainers that resulted in rising overall taxes for the rest of us. That’s why I’m voting for Jonathan Fulford who will vote for fair taxes and who supports restoring funding to our schools and towns at the mandated levels.
Free Press, 6/26/14
Keep Funding Education: Vote Fulford
I am grateful that Jonathan Fulford is running for State Senate as a representative from Waldo County. If he is elected, he will work to make sure our schools get the revenue they need so that our students can get a quality education. Two years ago I retired from my work as a public school teacher, and frankly, I am alarmed at the crisis facing the funding of our public schools.
Governor LePage, with Senator Mike Thibodeau as his right hand man, pushed through tax cuts benefitting the wealthy, cutting funding for schools and shifting the burden onto local tax payers.
Over the past seven years our property tax rate has increased over ten percent while the state funding for RSU 20 has been slashed by over 2 million dollars. Funding for schools now accounts for 61.9% of the already strained municipal budget. Jonathan Fulford would work to restore funding to the schools at the 55% level required by law.
It has been painful for me to see drastic school budget cuts made necessary by this irresponsible governance while at the same time see tax payers suffer financial pressure through increased property taxes. We need to adequately fund our schools. I am confident that Jonathan Fulford will work to restore fairness to the tax base so that we can build strong communities by serving the needs of our children.
Republican Journal, 6/26/14
Big money in elections and politics is bad for democracy. Recent Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United & McCutcheon characterized corporations as people and struck down limits on what corporations and people can contribute to political campaigns.
The Maine Ethics Commission has since suspended the $25,000 limit on how much an individual can give in aggregate in Maine elections. Big money has already started flooding into Maine elections, and it will only get worse.
Waldo County Senator Mike Thibodeau couldn’t be more pleased, stating “Most of our candidates are funded through donations from aunts and uncles and cousins and neighbors and friends.” In 2012, hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent in a single Maine legislative race, and if you think this money is coming from relatives and friends, well, Mr. Thibodeau has a bridge to sell you.
Jonathan Fulford thinks big money in Maine politics is bad for democracy, bad for regular people, and bad for Maine. That is why he is running as a Clean Election Candidate. As such, he will not accept contributions from big donors and PACs.
Instead, he’ll be knocking on doors throughout Waldo County to meet us and listen to what we care about. When you meet him at a local event, a public meeting, or your front door, tell him what matters to you. He’ll be listening because the only people he’ll be answering to when he is elected to the Maine Senate are you and me, not corporations or fat cats.
Bangor Daily News 6/18/14
For Nursing Home Funding We Need Medicaid Expansion
While Senator Thibodeau refers to the “chronic underfunding issues” that nursing homes face, he does not offer details as to what legislative forces have created this chronic problem in Maine in the first place.
I live in Waldo County and have worked in a skilled nursing facility for over ten years as an occupational therapist. As a clinician, I understand that when a condition is termed “chronic” the first question to ask is why?
We need to look below the surface of the nursing home crisis. Governor LePage’s last ditch effort to find funds for nursing homes failed to address a situation that has been allowed to remain unbalanced. A long term solution requires a well-crafted plan that will bring nursing home reimbursements in line with present day costs.
Part of the solution is to recognize that the funding of nursing homes is closely tied to Medicaid funding: one issue cannot be considered without the other.
Why did Senator Thibodeau vote not to expand Medicaid eligibility for Mainers even under the compromise bill? All citizens need access to affordable healthcare throughout their lifespan. Caring for our entire population should be our top priority. Then nursing homes will be able to provide the kind of health care Mainers need and deserve.
I will be voting for Democrat Jonathan Fulford for State Senate because he will not play partisan politics, and will work to make access to affordable healthcare a reality for elders and for everyone.
Bangor Daily News 6/17/14
Fulford Supports Expanding Medicaid
Many people in our community, despite recent changes in the health care laws, are still without health coverage. I find this unacceptable in a ‘civilized’ society. Most other modern industrial countries have universal health care. My hope is that someday this type of equal treatment will be available to all our citizens, not just those who can pay for it.
Until then we have to make do with what we have. I am furious that our Governor and my present State Senator did not support expanding Mainecare. Jonathan Fulford is running for state senate. On this issue, as well as others, he gets my vote. Jonathan definitely supports universal healthcare, but under the current system he is strongly in favor of accepting federal dollars for medicaid expansion to cover all Mainers. Expanding MaineCare would not only cover nearly 70,000 people living at or near the poverty line (including 3000 veterans), it would also add jobs and stimulate the economy.
I work as a mental health provider and see people with many challenges, most whom are courageous and try hard to take good care of themselves. There are many obstacles in our country to good health and well being if you are poor. People don’t go to the doctor for routine, preventative care because of the expense, don’t get education about self care, and can’t afford medications. One way to help our community be physically and mentally healthy is through accessible low or no cost health insurance.
Please vote for Jonathan Fulford in this next election.
Lisa Kushner, Belfast
Republican Journal 6/12/14
Fulford Represents Waldo County on Medicaid Expansion
In a recent press conference, Waldo County Senator Mike Thibodeau spoke out against expanding Medicaid, despite the fact that the costs would be borne by the federal government, would save lives and create jobs. Instead, he suggested impoverished Mainers “… work just a little bit harder than they have been, to try just a little bit harder to meet that goal of making $12,000 a year,” so they can qualify for subsidies for health insurance.
Thibodeau characterized the expansion of Medicaid as, “a welfare system” that “make[s] Mainers dependent.” The Senator’s cure for multigenerational poverty is simple: “… what we all should be trying to do is work our way to economic prosperity.”
Mr. Thibodeau has misdiagnosed poverty in Maine – dependence on the government doesn’t create poverty. Poverty results from a lack of jobs, lack of education, and an economy that for many Mainers remains in recession.
Senator Thibodeau’s prescription is bad medicine for Maine. I will be supporting Jonathan Fulford for State Senate – a man who truly represents the people of Waldo County.
Bangor Daily News 3/14/14