NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 MAINE SENATOR’S RACE

Eric Brakey (R)
Eric Brakey (R)
Angus King (I-Incumbent, caucuses with Democrats)
Angus King (I-Incumbent, caucuses with Democrats)
Zak Ringelstein (Democrat)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters and Ballotready.org. For more detailed information visit their votesmart.org pages. To volunteer, visit ericbrakey.com or angusformaine.com  or ringelsteinformaine.com. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.

Maine’s US Senate & Congressional races (but not state races) will be conducted under new Ranked Choice Voting rules. You can vote for your first-choice candidate while also ranking the remaining candidates in order of preference (second choice, third choice, etc.). The votes will be tabulated in rounds. If your first-choice candidate is eliminated in any given round, your second-choice vote will be counted in the next round, & so on, until one candidate wins.


 Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Brakey – Ban. “No innocent life should ever be snuffed out by another.”

King – Legal.  Government should not “interfere in decisions… between a woman & her healthcare provider.”

Ringelstein – Legal. Provide “full, publicly funded healthcare for women, including abortion.”

 

Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders? Position on Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Brakey – No position found. No position on Citizens United. Supported legislation to send Maine’s Clean Election Act back to the voters.

King – Yes, including online ads.  Co-sponsored DISCLOSE Act. Pass amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Ringelstein – Yes, including online ads. Pass amendment to overturn Citizens United.

 

Climate Change: Consider climate change a serious threat? Limit or tax production of greenhouse gases?

Brakey – No position found.

King – Yes. “One of the greatest threats of our lifetime” to both environment & national security. Keep Clean Power Plan restrictions on emissions

Ringelstein – Yes. Curb emissions & return to Paris Agreement.

 

Courts: Support Judge Kavanaugh nomination? (before recent allegations)

Brakey – Yes. “A brilliant legal mind with strong personal character.”

King – No. Could “undo significant progress we’ve made over the past half-century.”

Ringelstein – No. Strongly opposes. Asked King & Susan Collins to vote “No.”

 

Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?

Brakey – No. Says, “Government doesn’t create jobs, the free market creates jobs.”

King – Yes. Says has protected “thousands of jobs” at Bath Iron Works & helped bolster & diversify ME forest economy.

Ringelstein – Yes. Lays out 7-point plan to “reignite Maine’s economy,” including spending for infrastructure & broadband.

 

Economy: Support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Brakey – No. “I don’t think tariffs are a good thing.” Would push for real free trade.

King – No. Could support tariffs on some imports, but not in the way Trump has done them.

Ringelstein – No position found.

 

Education: Help parents send their children to private schools with public money?

Brakey – Yes. Supports tax credit for parents who opt out of the public education system.

King – No. “Public schools are the idea at the heart of democracy.”

Ringelstein – No. Invest public funds in public schools, not voucher or privatization programs.

 

Elections: Support nonpartisan redistricting to address charges of partisan gerrymandering?

Brakey – No position found.

King – Yes. Supported bill requiring state independent redistricting commissions.

Ringelstein – Yes. Create independent redistricting commissions.

 

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Brakey – No position found.

King – Yes. “Fundamental human right.”

Ringelstein – Yes. “People have the right to love who they want.”

 

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Brakey – No. Introduced bills to repeal Maine gun laws.

King – Yes. Expand background checks, ban bump stocks, limit magazine capacity.

Ringelstein – Yes. Universal background checks & ban assault weapons & bump stocks.

  

Healthcare: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?

Brakey – Repeal. “Look to free-market solutions.”

King – Support. “Not perfect,” but keep & strengthen.

Ringelstein – Support. Then move to “Medicare For All.”

 

Healthcare: Allow Planned Parenthood to receive public funds for non-abortion health services?

Brakey – No. Introduced bill preventing this in Maine.

King – Yes. “97% of activities… have nothing to do with abortion.”

Ringelstein – Yes. Expand & protect women’s reproductive rights.

 

Healthcare: Require people to work to receive Medicaid?

Brakey – Yes. LePage’s push for this is a “tremendous step forward.”

King – Protect vulnerable, but consider work programs if include enough support.

Ringelstein – No. Opposes making it harder to get healthcare.

 

Immigration: Support “DACA” recipients, “Dreamers,” who grew up here after being brought here illegally?

Brakey – Unclear on DACA. But says “We must put our citizens first.

King – Yes. Co-sponsored bill to create “a path to citizenship for Dreamers.”

Ringelstein – Yes. “Make all DREAMers citizens.”

 

Iran: Support President Trump’s withdrawing from Iran nuclear treaty?

Brakey – Wait & see. President “deserves some latitude in negotiations with Iran.”

King – No. A “terrible geopolitical mistake.” Strains relationships with key allies.

Ringelstein – No position on Iran deal.  Favors diplomacy against potential nuclear threats.

 

Marijuana: Legalize marijuana?

Brakey – Yes.

King – Yes.

Ringelstein – Yes.

 

Minimum Wage: Raise federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hr?

Brakey – No. Will hurt the people it’s intended to help.

King – Yes. Has long supported Federal increase. Not yet backing $15.

Ringelstein – Yes. Increase to $15/hour & tie to inflation.

 

Net Neutrality: Support requiring internet providers to provide equal access to all users?

Brakey – No. Avoid  “heavy-handed government controls.”

King – Yes. Ending net neutrality will “deprive Americans of open & equal access.”

Ringelstein – Yes. Create federal law protecting net neutrality.

 

Privatization: Cut or privatize Social Security?

Brakey – No position found.

King – Fight cuts to Medicare & Social Security.

Ringelstein – Expand Social Security & Medicare.

 

Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Brakey – Likely no. Voted for bill allowing extra charges on solar power installations.

King – Yes. Says has supported “increased production of renewable energy sources”

Ringelstein – Yes. “Divest from fossil fuels. 100% renewable energy by 2035.”

 

Student debt: Refinance student loans at lower rates, by increasing taxes on high earners (Elizabeth Warren bill)?

Brakey – No position found. Solution to student debt is teaching students real-world skills.

King – Yes. Voted for Warren bill. Also supported legislation to simplify repayment.

Ringelstein – Yes. Refinance student loans at lower rates.

 

Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts?

Brakey – Yes. Calls them “pro-growth, pro-taxpayer & pro-little guy.”

King – No. “Unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy & for corporations… their effects will be felt by every aspect of our society.”

Ringelstein – No. Tax cuts should go to those can use them the most: the middle class & small business, not the wealthiest.

 

Voting Rights: Support voting rules that prioritize preventing the possibility of fraud, even if limit access?

Brakey – Yes. Co-sponsored bill requiring government or college-issued photo ID.

King – No. Co-sponsored voting rights bill also including automatic voter registration.

Ringelstein – No. Supports automatic voter registration, Election Day registration, & fully restoring Voting Rights Act.