You’ll be hard pressed to find someone willing to defend the idea that Augusta has been operating smoothly and efficiently over the last eight years. In fact, I believe much of the reason we’ve seen an explosion in the use of the referendum process is that voters are responding to a dysfunctional culture that has repeatedly failed to take necessary action.
More than anything else, this problem stems from Governor LePage’s instance on governing by veto instead of providing real leadership. Even when legislators have compromised, worked across the aisle and crafted bipartisan bills, LePage has used the veto power indiscriminately, on everything from Medicaid expansion to allowing the families of addicts to buy the overdose antidote Narcan — adding up to more than 450 vetoes in total, a historical record.
Running for election in Farmington and Industry, I learned to find common ground with people across the political spectrum; listening, appealing to our shared values, and working out a path forward. That experience served me well when I sat on the Appropriations committee during the recession — tough times to craft a budget. We got through those years by bringing everyone to the table and working together to keep the budget balanced and avoid cuts to critical services like public safety, education, and health care. I’ll bring that same ethos of civility, cooperation, and leadership to the Blaine House.