Eric L Brakey, Republicanhttp://www.brakeyforsenate.comFacebook Twitter
Office Sought: Senator - District 20
Occupation: Financial Records
BFA from Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College, Magna Cum Laude (2010)
Unmarried with no children. As an 8th Generation Mainer, I look forward to raising a family here in Maine with my future wife as soon as I meet her.
Why are you running for office? I am running for State Senate because Maine's greatest export should not be her young people. We need individuals who understand that jobs are created -- not through government central planning -- but through free markets, low taxes and limited government. Unless we work to create a more robust job environment and retain Maine's young people, we will continue down the path to a demographic winter, which will mean a shrinking tax base and a lack of ability to fund important services for our seniors.
Since 2012, I have served as the Chairman for the Defense of Liberty Political Action Committee, a citizens organization that works to promote "Free People and Free Markets" in the Maine legislature. During this time, I worked with both Republicans and Democrats in Augusta on many issues, including stopping the expansion of the Maine welfare system, protecting the 2nd Amendment, and strengthening privacy laws to protect cell phone users.
While living in my family hometown of New Gloucester, I also served on the New Gloucester Land Management Planning Committee.
This is my first time running for elected office.
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?No
Federal funding would only cover childless adults until for less than three years, then the costs would fall on Maine taxpayers to cover. This is a classic bait and switch, and the already overtaxed people of Maine cannot afford it. We have done this before, and when previous medicaid expansions ran out of funding, they resulted in the massive hospital debts that our state only recently managed to pay off. The Portland Press Herald should have asked this question more honestly.
Medicaid expansion would cover childless adults up to 138% of poverty. Currently, every hospital in Maine offers free care (including primary care physician, medicine, surgery, screenings, etc.) up to 175% of poverty. The private sector already has resources available for those in need of care.
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?Other
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?Is it "too generous" when those in deepest need can't find help, while millions in Maine welfare dollars are spent at strip clubs, liquor stores and out-of-state, in places like Disney World, Las Vegas and Hawaii? Is it "too generous" when Maine seniors who have lived here their whole lives sit on waiting lists, while people from other states roll into Maine and consume our limited welfare resources from the day they arrive? The problem with our welfare programs is not that they are "too generous." The problem is that they are too easily abused. We must refocus our limited resources on those truly in need, giving people a hand-up in life, not a hand-out. For those who are able-bodied, we need to focus on getting people from welfare to work. Ronald Reagan once said that "the best social program is a job.” We must help those without work find employment, or find them the job training needed to begin a new profession.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?No
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.Government cannot mandate our way into a healthy economy. The only way to sustainably raise wages is to grow our economy naturally by attracting capital investment to Maine, which will require the legislature to lower taxes, cut red tape and reduce the cost of energy. Artificially raising the minimum wage does not accomplish this. Instead, it destroys jobs, forces people onto the welfare rolls, and raises the prices for daily necessities. Our kids need the work experience that minimum wage jobs provide, and our seniors on fixed incomes cannot afford any more price increases. I support sustainably raising wages by growing Maine's economy.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?This issue should be decided by the Maine voters. I will honor their decision. If it passes in a statewide referendum, it should be licensed, taxed and regulated in a manner similar as alcohol and tobacco. We should devote resources to keep substances like alcohol and marijuana out of our schools, and allow employers to enforce their own drug policies.