Robert A Foley, Republicanhttp://electbobfoley.comFacebook
Office Sought: Representative - District 7
Occupation: Insurance Sales
Graduated High School - Traip Academy 1971;
Attended USM from 1971-1975, returned to USM 1998- 2000 to earn my BS Degree in Political Science
Married Maryanne Coughlin for 33 years and we have 2 sons, Patrick and Peter, ages 26 and 24
Why are you running for office? Our current State Representative is term-limited out so my district (most of the Town of Wells) is an open seat. Having served on the Wells Board of Selectmen for 15 years, with 8 years as Chairman, I feel my experience and knowledge of the local issues, as well as the state issues I've had to deal with, as a selectman, would be important in representing the citizens of Wells in Augusta. I have also served on several state legislative task forces dealing with coastal issues that have provided me with the experience of writing and proposing legislation. I've appeared and testified before several legislative committees on a host of local issues including school funding, sand dune rules and regulations, flood mapping and beach management. I currently serve on the Board of Environmental Protection, as the Chairman, and have had direct involvement in formulating rules to comply with laws and regulations that the Legislature has enacted. I believe these experiences will allow me to be most effective in representing the citizens of District 7 in the Town of Wells.
My political experience: 15 years on the Town of Wells Board of Selectmen from 1992 –1998, 2000-2003 and again from 2009 to present – served 8 years as Chairman; - Town of Wells Charter Commission Chairman from 2007-2008; - Town of Wells Comprehensive Planning Committee 1993-95, 2002-04; - Library Board of Trustees- 2007-2009; - Harbor Advisory Committee- 1998-present; - State Board of Environmental Protection- 2011-present, Chairman 2012-present; -Graduated USM in 2000 with a BS degree in Political Science/Public Policy;
All of the positions that I’ve held or been elected to have been non-partisan in nature, which has provided me the experience of working across party lines with people of differing philosophies. Solving problems and finding solutions requires working within a framework that reaches out to all perspectives of an issue, no matter what side of the aisle you sit on. I believe I have the bi-partisan experience to be an effective Representative in Augusta.
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
I do not support the expansion of the current MaineCare (Medicaid) program. I would support a voucher program that would allow low income Mainers to purchase subsidized managed-care health insurance from the insurance exchange system. MaineCare has expanded far beyond its original goals and objectives and those costs have skyrocketed to the point where it has taken more of the social services dollars away from the most vulnerable of our citizens, especially the elderly. Maine has already expanded Medicaid once, and the expected costs were far more than projected. As I understand it, the 3-year federal medicaid expansion cost sharing would not apply to Maine at 100% because we had already established the MaineCare (Medicaid) program prior to the laws enactment., The current projected 10 year cost of expanding MaineCare to cover all uninsured persons would be $1.1 billion additional Maine taxpayer dollars, which would further take away resources from the very neediest of our citizens and many other taxpayer funding programs like education. Providing subsidized managed care health insurance through the exchange is the better way to provide coverage for the uninsured Maine citizens.
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?Yes
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?I believe certain aspects of the welfare programs have been too generous and do not comply with the rules, requirements and regulations that initially established these programs. TANF is a perfect example. This program is designed to provide temporary assist to needy families for the necessities of life. Too many of the dollars placed on these EBT cards are used for items not in support of families, i.e. tobacco products, alcohol, tattoos, social entertainment through cash disbursements. I agree with the current process of placing photo IDs on the cards, limiting where the cards can be used and where and in what states they can be used. Giving people a hand up needs to be accompanied with a pathway out of their financial situation. We need to provide the assistance needed to get people off welfare and become self-sufficient. Most do not want to be welfare dependent. Using taxpayer dollars to provide job training, internships, apprenticeships or other job related preparedness training or counseling would be the better long-term investment for our state and our citizens. I would support a complete overhaul of the current welfare system and eliminate duplicate programs or programs not meeting the current needs of the people being served.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Other
Please explain your position on the minimum wage.I would consider raising the minimum wage if it were tied to a tiered system where young, inexperienced, single persons, just starting a career, or summer workers still in high school would continue to receive the lower wage scale. Also wait staff and others who receive tips as part of the service they provide should also be in a separate category. Persons with dependents need to be able to receive a livable income for their family through a decent paying job. The wage scale should be tied to the number of dependents the person is responsible for. While I am not a big proponent of government mandates for businesses, and recognizing that raising the minimum wage would place higher costs on goods and services, currently, at minimum wage,the taxpayers are providing subsidized wages already in the form of food stamps, rent subsidies, and other financial support. Increasing the minimum wage to accommodate the financial needs of a family could help alleviate that taxpayer burden.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?I would not support the legalization of marijuana. I would, however, support alternative sentencing for possession of small quantities for personal use and not selling or distributing. These alternative sentences could be volunteering at local shelters, food pantries or other community service. We should not clog up the jails with these low profile crimes.