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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted you all to know that I have sent emails to four of the candidates running for the governor of Maine - Baldacci(D), Woodcock(R), Merrill(I) and LaMarche (Green).

I am requesting an online interview with each candidate. All participants will receive the same 6 questions and a chance to opine with general comments at the end.

The responses will be posted at the Black Bear Blog, Daily Bag Limit and Blogging the Outdoors. Commenting will be left open on the blogs for readers.

The very next day, I got word back from Chandler Woodcock that he was eager to participate. I have yet to hear from any others. I sent the email late on Wednesday.

Below are the six questions I am sending. Please inform everybody that you know who hunts, fishes and likes the outdoors that this should be of interest to them.

I have informed the participants that comments will be allowed at the blogs and it may help their campaign to follow the comments.

This is very important to me, our business and to you as hunters, etc. to know how the candidates stack up with our beliefs. Please participate in the commenting with your ideas and opinions. I know many of you feel very strongly about some of these issues.

I also asked that they be open to the idea of a follow up session later. I know this can happen if we show them that our readers care.

Here are the questions.

Questions For Candidates For Maine Governor

1. In an effort to protect hunting and fishing heritage, some states have enacted a Constitutional Amendment protecting that heritage. Proponents of an amendment say it will reduce the millions of dollars spent on fighting groups opposed to hunting and that guaranteeing a protected industry will strengthen the Maine economy, to name some reasons. Those opposed to an amendment mostly say it is unnecessary, that existing laws protect hunting and fishing now. Would you support a Constitutional amendment that would guarantee the protection of Maine’s hunting and fishing heritage?
2. Maine, not unlike many other states, struggles to fund the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The bulk of funding comes from license fees from hunters, fishermen and trappers, etc. What are your plans to provide a budget to the MDIFW that meets the demands of sportsmen and the general public? Hunters, fishermen and trappers are interested in creative ways to enhance the budget and cut out nonsense programs (as they see them). Can you share with us any creative ideas you might have?
3. As governor, would you move toward changing any current laws regarding the right to keep and bear arms? Please be specific.
4. Maine spends millions of dollars each year stocking many of our waters around the state. Do you believe this is a worthwhile expense? Would you reduce, increase or leave the same, the amount of stocking that is done?
5. Maine lags far behind other states in percentage of land owned by the public trust. Those opposed to spending public dollars for the purchase of lands in Maine argue that there is ample private property available for hunting, fishing, trapping, and all forms of outdoor recreation. Do you see Maine’s private available lands shrinking and do you support the further investment of purchasing public lands?
6. Are you in support of or opposed to Sunday hunting in Maine? Could you please give specific reasons for your stance.
 

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Tom,
I would also use the word TRAPPING in question #1. Look in the history books and you will see that alot of the USA was formed around the trapping industry of yesteryears...... This is a heritage that is many times forgotten since a few only keep it going. Removal of trapping only causes problems due to population increases and also threats of diseases.
Question #2 is a great one to ask. One might also suggest to the candidates that they should ensure that the taxes from all outdoor equipment go to the IF&W. This is the taxes on fishing equipment and also gun sales.
#3--Keep as you worded it.
#4--- Ask them if they intended to leave native waters alone? The introduction of splake into lake that held decent populations of salmon is not good for the fishing industry. I know countless lakes that are now stocked with splake and the smelts are taking a beating --which in turn is causing the decline of salmon which over the years was a breeding population. Now it seems they must stock salmon also!!!
#5+6--ask away.
Okay now I'll get down from my soap box and wait to read the replies from the candidates.
John
 

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This should be interesting. I look forward to hearing how people will respond to each of their answers.
 

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I am not too fond of Baldacci, but it is tough to really get all fired up about any politician... :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UPDATE!
I heard back from Barbara Merrill, independent candidate and she is eager to play. I emailed her the questions today.

John - You are right about the trapping. Unfortunately for me I omitted it from the questions which have already gone out but I'll try to keep it in mind with followup questions.

If I can muster up some good comments and even questions, we might be able to draw some candidates into a discussion.

I hate to sound like an old poop but personally I have a hard time believing any politician especially during a campaign.
 

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Tom, you look like an old poop too!

I am very interested in hearing what Ms. Merrill has to say. Maine has a very "independant" history and I am leaning that way.

One question I want answered is when appointing the next IF&W commssioner, will you consider their prior hunting/fishing/trapping license purchases? How can we have someone in charge of IF&W who has NO CLUE of what hunting/fishing/trapping is?


It is time to vote out all incumbants! Then if the 'new blood' can't fix things (read-"won't listen"), we can try another crown in a few years!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The one thing that I'm sure most everyone realizes is that the answers we get to these questions are loaded - usually - with political campaign rhetoric very similar to Woodcock's response about Sunday hunting - non commital and take the middle road on that issue.

I agree with what some have already said that declaring the woods unsafe doesn't cut it with me. That's the "I need all the votes I can get" speech!

What I will attempt to do over the next few weeks and if anyone wants to jump in and help, is look up anyone's voting record on certain issues.

One thing I want to find is Woodcock's record on how he voted about the Baxter land swap seeings as he said he was always in favor of purchasing public lands as long as they were open to "all", was the word he finished his statement with. If that is true, he should have voted against the deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Further UPDATES:

I have mailed questions to Barbara Merrill and hope to be receiving them soon. I have yet to hear anything from Baldacci and LaMarche.

If I don't hear from their camps soon, I will email them again and tell them who has responded. Maybe put some pressure on them although I am not expecting either camp will respond and I will do my best to let our members and readership know that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Assuming that by the time you read this post, you will have read Barbara Merrill's response to the six questions. If not go to the below link.
http://mainehuntingtoday.com/bbb/?p=768

First an update. I have in fact heard back from both Baldacci's camp and Pat LaMarche's. They have received the six questions and I await their responses.

I read over Merrill's responses and I personally find a mixed bag but at least I got what I thought was more direct answers and less rhetoric. I know I along with most everyone else, want to hear the truth about how a candidate feels about these issues. Hunters aren't stupid and few will vote for a particular candidate simply because they answered one question to their liking. Truth and honesty, even if you don't agree, will go a long ways.

She seemed willing to engage in further discussion for anyone interested in leaving comments and/or questions.

She seems to in her responses as well as her website, be pushing her values and ideas through her book - Setting the Maine Course - We Can Get There From Here

I am curious if anyone has read that? I think I've got to get a copy at the bookstore.
 
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