Dems: Stuckey vs. Vincent
PETER STUCKEY, elected to the Legislature in 2008, describes his first term in the State House as “humbling.”“The learning curve was really vertical,” he says, referring to both content (laws, policies, issues) and process (how things actually get done — or don’t — in Augusta). He was greeted by cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (Stuckey, a former director at the People’s Regional Opportunity Program, sits on the Health and Human Services Committee) and a lack of revenue.
After schooling himself in the Maine budget, he discovered what he sees as hidden (or unexplored) revenue sources. He proposes that the state take a closer look at tax expenditures — exemptions and credits that comprise a large sum of money but aren’t reviewed with the same scrutiny as, say, the budget. Stuckey wants to assign a committee to review those expenditures each year. He also wants to ease some tax burdens by expanding the “circuit breaker” concept to the state earned-income tax return, and reconsider how the state can benefit from part-time residents and tourists.
Stuckey is a huge proponent of early childhood education, saying that by investing in such programs, the state would save in “health, juvenile justice, remedial academic services, and dental health” costs.
GEORGE VINCENT has one foot in the past. His campaign flyers show his kindergarten class on Peaks Island — his way of reintroducing himself to the island, where he lived until he was 8 years old, and part of the district he now hopes to represent. He’s a history buff with a knack for trivia. And he says the six years he spent representing Portland in the state legislature as a young man (from 1968-72 and then from 1980-82) inform his current candidacy.
“There were a lot of things I didn’t understand,” he says of his first time around, in his 20s. “I’ve got the time now — I’m older, more mature.”
And his goals are modest. He says “there isn’t much you can do,” especially as a new legislator, to affect big issues like budget cuts, property taxes, or job creation. “There are so many other things you can do up there,” he says — unsexy, nonpartisan things.
Vincent, for example, wants to “explore the possibility of eliminating the maximum size limit on lobsters,” a change that would hopefully allow local lobstermen to make more money.
He’s enjoyed his time campaigning on Peaks Island, he says, and has billed himself as “a candidate that understands island living.”