“I congratulate Charlie Summers on winning the Maine Republican Senate Primary and look forward to his election in November. Charlie is a former small businessman and a Navy Veteran who believes we must restore fiscal responsibility and finally focus on pro-jobs policies in Washington, while his two opponents are emblematic of everything that is wrong with Washington – higher taxes, increased government spending and massive government regulations on small businesses. Maine deserves a Senator like Charlie Summers who will be a real independent thinker and leader.” – U.S. Senator John Cornyn, NRSC Chairman
Secretary of State Charlie Summers vs. Two Democrats
The silence from national Democrats when it comes to supporting their Senate candidate in Maine sends a clear and concise message to voters that this race will be between a fiscally responsible Republican and two liberal Democrats.
While claiming to be an independent, Angus King is proving to be anything but. King is an ardent supporter of ObamaCare, has donated thousands of dollars to the President’s re-election campaign, has a record of raising taxes and supports job-killing environmental rules and regulations.
And it would seem that the skeptical spokeswoman for the Maine Democratic Party hit the nail on the head when she said recently that Angus King never really had to make tough decisions as Governor.
Importantly, this is a sentiment that has been loudly echoed in recent months by other Maine Democrats, including Democratic Party nominee State Senator Cynthia Dill who said at a recent debate, “I just think it’s interesting that the ‘independent’ in this race teaches leadership from the ivory tower and some of us actually lead.”
If her criticisms of Angus King’s record over the last few months are any indication, proud Democrat Cynthia Dill is going to be holding King’s feet to the fire every step of the way until November.
As Governor, King promised not to raise taxes, but flipped and supported raising taxes on gas and cigarettes and even criticized Mainers for a lack of willingness to pay taxes.
In 2000, Angus King had a budget surplus of over $300 million, but he left office with a $1 billion shortfall. Along the way, King raided the state’s Rainy Day Fund, leaving no money for certain state services.
Most notably, however, after leaving Mainers with the staggering billion dollar deficit King walks out of office telling his predecessor that he should increase taxes.
In 1999, King Proposed A 5-Cent Gas Tax Increase
King Proposed A 5-Cent State Gas Tax Increase. “Gov. Angus King ‘asked Maine motorists and truckers to pay more at the pump Friday by proposing a 5- cent-per-gallon increase to the state gas tax’ and also ‘released a new $4.5 billion budget plan to cover the state’s finances for the next two years beginning July 1.’ The budget bill ‘provides increases for education and research and development’ and ‘offers no new tax relief programs, but continues all of those currently in effect. Both measures require the approval of the Maine Legislature for enactment, an outcome that appeared anything but certain Friday, according to leaders of the Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate.’” (Jay Higgins, “King Proposes Gas Tax Increase, Submits Budget,” Bangor [ME] Daily News, 1/9/99)
Bangor Daily News: “King Declares War On Smoking, Governor Urges Doubling State Tax On Cigarettes.” (John Hale, “King Declares War On Smoking,” Bangor [ME] Daily News, 1/29/97)
King Criticized Maine Residents For A Lack Of Willingness To Pay Taxes While Demanding The Government Do More. KING: “There’s one other thing I want to mention. What worries me is, we seem to be, in this country, headed in a direction where the public is not only maintaining but increasing its demand for services (but) at the same time, the public is less and less willing to pay for it. There’s this tidal wave sweeping the country of resistance to taxes but there’s no tidal wave of what we don’t want government to do. If you’re moving into an era where people want the services and don’t want to pay for them, you’re stuck with trying to find some freebie to pay (the bills), and that’s why every state along the Eastern Seaboard is talking about casinos. It’s a cop-out on the willingness to pay for what people demand. And that’s the only thing it has going for it.” (Paul Carrier, “Q&Q With Gov. Angus King: King Reflects On Eight Years As Governor,” Portland [ME] Press Herald, 12/15/02)
King Said “I Have No Problem With Strong Rules And Regulations, But I Want Them To Be Enforced Predictably.” King: “My philosophy has always been that environmental regulation is absolutely essential. Without it, as we know from Maine history, the rivers were polluted and the air was horrible. The question is, what is the process? As a businessperson, I have no problem with strong rules and regulations, but I want them to be enforced predictably.” (Douglas Rooks, “Waiting For Winds Of Change,” MaineBiz, 7/11/11)
“The Huge Task Of Filling A $1 Billion Hole In The Next State Budget Will Overshadow Everything Else In The Upcoming Legislative Session, As Gov.-Elect John Baldacci And The Legislature Try To Eliminate A Shortfall That Represents 17 Percent Of The General Fund Budget. The issue is not whether they will do the job, because the Maine Constitution requires a balanced budget.” (Paul Carrier, “Top Priority: $1 Billion Gap In New Budget,” Portland Press Herald, 12/22/02)
King Said He Believed His Predecessor Will Need To Raise Taxes In Order To Avoid Unacceptable Cuts To The Budget. “‘It is a huge challenge,’ said Kay Rand, the chief of staff for outgoing Gov. Angus King. ‘I hope he’s successful in being able to balance the budget without a tax increase but it will be exceptionally difficult.’ King has said he believes tax hikes will be needed to avoid unacceptably deep cuts in state spending.” (Paul Carrier, “Top Priority: $1 Billion Gap In New Budget,” Portland [ME] Press Herald, 12/22/02)