Rick’s mission is to restore Common Sense and Common Ground to Maine politics. His motto is "Think Anew, Act Anew". His goals are
- to have an economy that puts local, small businesses first, not big trans-national corporations
- to have a government that serves the people, not itself
- to build infrastructure - including high speed broadband - that will allow rural Maine to flourish not fall behind
- to foster health care solutions that promote healthy living and favor patients, nurses and doctors over bureaucracy, insurance companies, and Big Pharma
- to deal openly without partisanship on gnawing societal problems like our opioid epidemic
- and to create a political discourse on a foundation of respect and love for our fellow humans rather than rudeness and hatred.
Jobs & the Economy
- Successful businessman – rescued and built several Maine-based businesses including
- GWI – telecom and ISP, employing 50, now building miles of fiber in western Maine
- Quoddy – storied Maine moccasin and footwear maker, 20 jobs in Lewiston
- GMI Ratings – employed 50, built from money-losing startup to profitability
- ValueEdge Advisors – helps investors hold big corporations accountable to stakeholders
- Introduced the successful bipartisan measure to create the Maine Connectivity Authority which is now investing $400 million to bring reliable, high-speed broadband to every corner of rural Maine
- Fought hard for regulatory relief, workers comp reform, lower taxes, and increased access to capital
- Helped small, local business level the playing field and get the most out of Augusta and Washington – including training money, credit resources, and infrastructure investments, such as roads and high-speed broadband
- Endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business
“Our future depends on jobs. In western Maine, our jobs depend on small businesses. And whether forestry, farming, manufacturing, tourism or trucking, our businesses are heavily reliant on our natural resources and our magnificent outdoors. But our small businesses are too often discouraged from hiring workers by employer mandates, taxes, and other burdens our government imposes. And our small, local businesses too often face unfair competition from huge trans-national corporations that get special treatment by federal and state government.“
- Leading voice for Term Limits at both federal and state levels
- Supports campaign finance reform to remove big corporate money, foreign involvement, and lobbyists
- Chairs the Protect Maine Elections ballot initiative to stop foreign governments meddling in Maine elections
- Supports more transparency of lobbying and reforming our Freedom of Access laws
- Advocates for popular election of our Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Treasurer
- Most bipartisan legislator, as found in Bangor Daily News analysis of roll call votes over the past two years
- Track record as a uniter who has earned respect across the aisle. When the 2000 elections left a 17-17-1 partisan tie in the Maine Senate, crafted a power-sharing agreement that worked for everyone. Unanimously elected President of the Senate.
“I believe in government of the people, by the people, and for the people. As a legislator and a private citizen, I have been an outspoken voice for change, for wresting power from the bureaucracies and big corporations and bringing government back to the people. I have never shied to stand up to powerful interests, whether it was the House Speaker whose top aides were caught ballot tampering or it is the foreign corporations interfering in our elections to try to force the CMP Corridor.”
Sporting and the 2nd Amendment
- Long-time member of NRA and Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine, as legislator always received endorsements and highest ratings from each
- Earned an “A” rating and endorsement of NRA
- Earned an "A+" rating a "Thumbs Up" from Sportsmen's Alliance of Maine ILA
- Outspoken advocate for hunting traditions
- Gun-owner who believes firearms are essential for personal protection as well as enjoying shooting sports
“I strongly support our right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment and the Maine Constitution. In the Maine Senate, I will continue to be an outspoken advocate for law-abiding gun owners. Maine’s sporting heritage is very important to me and my family, as it is to most Mainers. I am an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping, cross-country skiing and trail-running.”
- Lead Senate cosponsor of the measure to replace our foreign owned electric utilities with consumer ownership in service to Maine ratepayers
- Supported the new law demanding accountability of utilities to the people of Maine
- Leading voice in opposition to the CMP Corridor through the heart of western Maine, through op eds, radio shows, petition-gathering, and contributions
- In the Maine House, one of the drafters of the Constitutional Amendment requiring a 2/3 legislative vote of that was violated by CMP and the Bureau of Parks & Lands in the illicit lease of state lands. Now a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the State and CMP over this action.
- Sponsored bill to prohibit foreign companies like HydroQuebec interfering in Maine elections
“Our electric grid is more critical than ever as we electrify our economy five-fold over the next three decades. We must bring back control of this critical infrastructure to Mainers from the foreign governments that currently control it. The foreign ownership model has failed. As an example, the CMP Corridor is a bad deal for our state, and foreign corporations that will make billions while we will be left with crumbs. It is outrageous that Maine people have been denied the right to self-determination on a project that will affect our state for generations. In abusing the special privileges CMP has to operate in Maine, the company’s foreign owners have lost their right to the franchise.”
Taxing and Spending
- Opposed all tax increases in 12 years in the Maine Legislature.
- Favors lowering the top rates of the income tax to encourage job creation and keep talent in Maine.
- Supports bottom-up review of all state spending to ensure programs are needed, efficient and cost-effective.
- Supports overhaul of budgeting process in Legislature.
“We will never get our fiscal house in order until we do two things. First, we need to make hard decisions about what state government should do. Second, we need to insure that sure they do it as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. We should devote the first three months of the legislative session to a thorough review and audit of all the departments and agencies to learn which programs are getting the job done and which are not and should be ended.”
- Strong supporter of protecting our outdoors
- Led the effort to curb unhealthy use of chemicals like PFAS "forever chemicals" and get toxics out of our environment
- Reformed Maine’s municipal recycling regime to shift the cost of recycling from taxpayers to producers of packaging
- Supports Land for Maine’s Future and local land trusts
- Endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund and Defend Our Health Action
“All Mainers love the outdoors and share a conservation ethic – and this is most evident those in farming, fishing and forestry. In western Maine we know how critical our environment is to our economic well-being. Our largest industry - tourism - relies on the special qualities of Maine's outdoor spaces, and our most storied Maine businesses are linked to our conservation heritage. I will continue to champion a healthy, sustainable environment.”
- Endorses health care solutions that promote healthy living and favor patients, nurses and doctors over bureaucracy, insurance companies, and Big Pharma.
- Enacted legislation to provide insurance reform and consumer choice.
- Supports portability of insurance coverage, tort reform, voluntary alliances to allow small businesses purchasing power, and tax changes to encourage coverage
- Supports the “critical care” designation for our local hospitals
- Favors providing affordable long-term care for our seniors, with more choices for residential care, whether at home or in boarding homes or nursing facilities
“My wife had a long career as a home health therapist, and I hear every day about how the system is working and not working for people struggling with diseases and chronic conditions. The primary problem with our health care system is financial – how to pay for it? We must seek to solve the problem without sacrificing quality, consumer choice or the relationship between patient and doctor. And we must fight to keep services in rural Maine.”
- Opposes shifting costs through mandates and underfunding to property taxpayers
- Supports school choice for parents so that funding follows the child
- Supports minimum pay for public school teachers
- Favors reforms to reduce Maine’s out-of-control administrative costs in the education system
“The key to true education reform is not more interference and bureaucracy from Washington and Augusta, but putting more control in the hands of parents and teachers working together. Parents should be able to choose the schools their children attend and funds should follow the child to pay for the cost of education at their school of their choice, public or private.”
Life and Family
- Opposes tax-payer funding of abortions
- Voted to prohibit late-term, partial-birth abortions in Maine Senate
- Opposes physician-assisted suicide in Maine
- Believes churches and faith families are “essential services” in times of social crisis
“As a father and husband, I know life is a precious gift from God. We must cherish this gift from the very young to the very old, and we must do all we can to favor families, promote adoption, and protect our seniors from abuse. I am an active leader in my church, and we have an active mission in our community to reach out to provide comfort and care to those in need. Our region is blessed with many faith families that are doing this in this distressing time.”