Commitment and dedication

To the Editor:

Brian Hubbell and Paul Paradis are competing for election to Maine State Legislative District 35 representing Bar Harbor, Cranberry Isles, Southwest Harbor and the eastern portion of Mount Desert, and despite my best efforts to convince these two fine men to simply share the job, it appears that a choice must be made.

I had the good fortune to work daily with Brian as clerk-of-the-works on the Northeast Harbor Library’s construction project from 2005 through 2007, in which capacity I witnessed his commitment and dedication to the project, his wisdom and ability to explain and negotiate among differing opinions, his willingness to go the extra mile.  I also was peripherally involved in his opposition to Governor Baldacci’s ill-considered educational reform effort, and know first hand that his dedication to the education of our children is boundless. Brian understands and cherishes the varied character of our island people and communities.  Finally, I was privy to his dignified and polite response to injustice, and I therefore know his integrity is tested and proven.

I hope you will join in supporting Brian Hubbell’s election to our legislature, for he will bring to bear wisdom, commitment and civility we sorely need.

Robert R. Pyle,
Northeast Harbor
September 27, 2012

An independent thinker and good listener with the best interests of the community at heart

I write to express my personal support for Brian Hubbell, a local candidate for  the Maine House of Representatives.

Maine Conservation Voters, a statewide, non-partisan organization where I serve as board chair, also has endorsed Brian in his bid for the Legislature along with 97 other candidates seeking Maine House and Senate seats.

These candidates stand out for their demonstrated commitment to protecting Maine’s environment.

Brian’s campaign approach – Lets Work Together for MDI – sums up what will be one of the great strengths he brings to the job. A genuine interest and ability to work together to govern Maine are much needed qualities in Augusta (as well as Washington, D.C.).

In his years of service on our district school board, Brian has proven himself a leader and creative problem solver. He’s an independent thinker, good listener and has the best interests of the community at heart.

A candidate’s environmental ethic is only one lens I use to evaluate a candidate, but for me it’s an important one. Maine’c lean air, water, land, and wildlife are the roots of our economy and way of life. Our natural resources support good health, recreations, and well-paying jobs in every corner of the state. The set Maine apart and are our biggest competitive advantage.

Go, Brian!

Caroline M. Pryor,
Mount Desert

Positions on 10 critical issues facing Maine

As part of its 2012 election coverage, the Bangor Daily News has posed ten questions to all state candidates for Maine’s Legislature.  Below are my responses.  (My opponent declined to respond.)


How do you propose the Legislature closes Maine’s budget gap?

Balancing Maine’s budget in the wake of recession requires hard choices, shared sacrifice, and resolve toward longer-term priorities.

While striving for greater efficiency in government must be a constant goal, it is irresponsible for the Legislature to cut taxes without concurrently doing the real work of deciding which current public functions Maine prudently can abandon or which essential public service costs can, with a clean conscience, be shifted elsewhere without devastation to those onto whose shoulders the burden is transferred – such as struggling property taxpayers, the young, the ailing, or the working poor.

To do only half the job, as was done with the final partisan budget of the last session, by cutting taxes without acknowledging the terminated services or accounting for the shifted costs, risks harm to Maine’s long-term prosperity.

Do you think same-sex marriage should be legal in Maine?

Yes. Stable, loving, committed families benefit Maine communities.

Do you support school choice?

No. Subsidizing additional private choices weakens Maine’s capacity to provide equitable access to good public education.

I believe this question is mis-framed. Maine families continue to have the choice of attending neighborhood public schools, to home-school, or to pay tuition to private and religious schools.

Maine’s first obligation must be to provide a comprehensive, equitable system of educational opportunity for all, not subsidizing individuals who choose not to engage in the hard work of sustaining and improving their own community’s schools.

The critical question before the next Legislature will be whether the state’s obligation to maintain a comprehensive system for good, equitable education is harmed by additionally subsidizing students who choose to go elsewhere outside their communities.

We’re already failing to fund Maine’s essential obligation towards the public good of education. At this time, It’s inequitable additionally to subsidize private choices.

Worse, ‘choice’ initiatives that seek to subsidize new private and for-profit businesses frequently do so by committing the expenditure of local property tax dollars without an appropriate balance of public oversight.

Do you think Maine’s school consolidation program has been successful?

As a clumsy and punitive overreach, consolidation distracted many Maine schools from necessary collaborative local improvement.

Generally, no. As a top-down directive, consolidation was a clumsy overreach from the start. Worse, it grew into a wasteful distraction from Maine’s real needs for collaborative improvement in education.

As many know, our school district on MDI was an early and effective opponent to the original legislation. While there’s little satisfaction in having our predictions proved correct about the community damage that followed from the top-down aspects of the mandate, I’m proud that our district was able to negotiate the eventual provisions of the law allowing more locally-responsive cooperative models for school systems. Now many schools which were forced into non-productive reorganizations are looking to this alternative structure as a hopeful way forward.

Do you think Maine should expand MaineCare as proposed by the president under the Affordable Care Act?

Maine should work with the federal law to maintain the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

Where possible, we should be working to increase access to good, affordable, preventative health care for Maine people, not curtailing it. Rather than fighting the ACA, Maine should be working with the law along with its accompanying federal funds and tax credits toward insurance that better serves Maine families and small businesses.

What is the biggest thing Maine can do to attract more jobs to the state?

Build on Maine communities’ traditional commitment to education, entrepreneurship, and civic involvement.

To move forward, Maine needs to understand clearly its assets. These historically have been well-represented by commitment to education and a shared ethic for decency, innovation, entrepreneurship, and hard work. As a small population of tightly connected communities, civic involvement may indeed also be one of our greatest assets.

Maine must renew its commitment to the promise of all levels of education to sustain a workforce of competent, adaptable critical thinkers who can work collaboratively to solve increasingly challenging problems.

Properly managed and funded, Maine’s community and technical schools, colleges, and universities are capable of meeting our needs. Locally, established institutions like the Jackson Lab are leading lights in globally significant research. And, at the root, Maine still has communities and a connected way of life that families find attractive.

We need to recognize and amplify these assets, not mischaracterize them as failures..

Do you support lowering the state income tax? What state spending would you cut to make up for the loss of revenue?

No. We need a fairer tax structure that doesn’t harm those who are struggling the most to earn a basic living in difficult times.

In an income tax-cut race to the bottom, Maine can’t win. We need to understand the whole balance of public revenue in Maine. In our district, people have seen property taxes increase as a direct result of curtailed state budgets. We need a fairer tax structure that doesn’t harm those who are struggling the most to earn a basic living in difficult times.

Are Maine’s public assistance benefits too generous? How should they be changed?

Maine needs both a short-term safety net and a long-term commitment to build new opportunities for self-reliance.

Most Maine people are fundamentally self-reliant and want only a decent opportunity to earn a living. National recession and the harsh realities of global capital flow have caused many Mainers to lose work through no fault of their own. Maine does a reasonable job of providing an emergency social safety net to meet short-term hardship. Ultimately, the most cost-effective course for the state is to enact policies which expand opportunities for those in need to return to self-reliance. Towards this end, I believe that education and early health care offer the best return on public investment.

What should the state do to lower energy costs?

Increase conservation and efficiency. Commit in the long-term to locally-produced, sustainable energy sources.

Increased conservation and improved efficiency remain the most effective ways to reduce energy costs. It’s not glamorous policy but it’s true. To reach a stable and secure energy future, we also need to commit to the slower process of developing more efficient transportation systems and an energy infrastructure that makes increased use of locally-generated sustainable sources of power such as wind and tides. Bonds for research and technology and tax credits for private investment are appropriate mechanisms for moving Maine in this direction.

Should Maine place more restrictions on abortion?

No. Current Maine law covers this well.

Health and reproductive decisions are deeply personal and should be settled between a woman and her doctor without additional government intrusion.

Doing better for Maine

To the Editor:

Brian Hubbell is running for the State Legislature in District 35, which includes Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, the Cranberry Isles and most of Mount Desert.

We come from each of these four communities.

We are enthusiastic supporters of Brian.

Brian has voluntarily spent years both here and in Augusta working to protect our communities’ schools from attempts at heavy-handed interference by Augusta. He knows how the Legislature really works.

We personally know that he approaches tasks like this with extraordinary dedication, uncommon intelligence, humor, patience, and a deep and sincere mutual respect for those with other perspectives.

It’s the type of work ethic and dedication we have seen him display as a long time member of his school board, as a participant in countless community activities, as a parent, and as a candidate. He has knocked on hundreds of our doors and has many more to go. He has a genuine interest in your perspective and concerns. We hope you get a chance to chat with him personally.

Lately, Augusta has become more fractious, aggressive, and sometime downright rude place.  Brian’s campaign slogan speaks volumes about how he would approach his job as our Legislator: “Let’s work together”.

But his cordiality aside, we need someone who fairly, accurately and stoutly represents the prevailing perspectives of our district. We need someone we can be sure will not be inclined or pressured to provide votes for the agenda of the current administration, which, by word and deed, has chosen to pursue policies that are not in our best interests on such topics as access to health care and health insurance, public education, fair tax policies, the right to vote, and adequate support for vital public needs.

Under this Administration, Maine was the only state in New England and one of only five in the nation whose economy shrank last year.  We are now dead last in personal income growth. Moody’s downgraded our credit rating last year in part because our state’s reserves are overly dedicated to providing tax cuts, 66% of which will go to the top 20% income earners.

We can’t go on like we are now. We can do better.

Let’s work together once again. Let’s elect Brian Hubbell to help restore a sense of what our state government can and should do that is prudent and positive for us all.

Connie Blaney, Bar Harbor, ME
Eric Henry, Southwest Harbor, ME
Julian Kuffler, MD MPH, Mount Desert, ME
Jeri Spurling, Cranberry Isles

Endorsement by Representative Elsie Flemings

I am honored to strongly support Brian Hubbell for State Representative to serve District 35, which includes Bar Harbor, Cranberry Isles, part of Mount Desert, and Southwest Harbor. As the current Representative for District 35, I have worked hard to bring the voices of my constituents to Augusta, to protect what we value, and to work for positive change.

I have absolute confidence that Brian Hubbell will serve us with dedication, energy, and effectiveness if elected as the next State Representative. Brian will bring to the Legislature extensive experience in public policy as well as his passion for our communities and state. As a leader on our school board, as a builder and contract manager, as the father of a wonderful high school student, as the husband of an incredible artist, and as a volunteer on numerous local endeavors, Brian demonstrates commitment to community and to service every day.

Brian is a deeply thoughtful listener. He is always interested in learning what community members are thinking, what they care about, and what their concerns are. This is a critical component of being an effective legislator – to seek out the opinions and ideas of constituents, and to be open to new information about the multitude of issues that arise throughout the legislative session.

Brian is an extraordinarily hard worker. From managing his construction business, (coordinating such projects as the Northeast Harbor Library), to advocating for our local schools, to volunteering as assistant coach for our high school track and cross country teams, Brian gives incredible time, commitment, and energy to all that he does. I have no doubt that Brian will bring this same dedication and perseverance to the Legislature.

Brian’s values and principles are what we need in Augusta. Brian is passionate about maintaining high quality public education, as a cornerstone of democracy and a critical component of equal opportunity. Brian is committed to supporting our local businesses and promoting sustainable, year-round prosperity. Brian knows that to have thriving businesses, it is critical to have healthy, educated workers. Brian is committed to supporting preventative health care, which improves people lives and reduces medical costs, increasing happiness and prosperity. Brian is passionate about ensuring access to high quality health care for all. He is committed to protecting our environment, addressing climate change, and ensuring clean air, clean water, and access to healthy food for all. Brian will bring these principles to Augusta, and he will work with dedication and thoughtfulness to serve our communities and help bring about positive change.

I am excited to be voting for Brian Hubbell as our next District 35 State Representative. I hope you will join me in electing Brian on November 6th.

Elsie Flemings

State Representative, District 35

Call to reject out-of-state “cash bashing” in Maine elections

Candidates Statement Rejecting “Campaign Cash Bashing from Away”

In Maine, we define our challenges and choose able leaders to meet them through civil political campaigns. Most Americans admire our fair and frugal campaign rules and strong voter turnout. But some from away try to buy our elections by funding communications that misrepresent Maine candidates. These out-of-state big check writers wield significant but anonymous influence. Their trash floods into our state in the final days of campaigns when there is little opportunity to confront the damage. This misleads Maine voters. As candidates standing to represent our communities in Augusta, we reject such “cash bashing” from away. We will work together to defeat this damaging mischief. We call on Maine media and all citizens to join us in this common cause.


Brian Hubbell, September 10, 2012

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