Senate Question 10-29-12
The campaign trail is heating up as the campaign season winds down.
TV 5 has been featuring the three major candidates running to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe in the U.S. senate.
We asked our Facebook fans to post questions, and we then posed those to Angus King, Cynthia Dill and Charlie Summers.
Here is Monday’s inquiry.
Do you support the proposed East West Highway in Maine? Why or why not?
“I’m not ready to, to take a firm position on that. I’ve talked to Peter Vigue about it, I’ve talked to a lot of people in northern Maine most recently, just in the last few days. I guess I would say right now I’m skeptical. I need to understand what the benefits would be for Maine. I understand the benefits for Canada , for the Maritimes, and for Montreal, but I need to understand what would the benefits would be for Maine. I also need to understand why we can’t do what, what is being proposed, with the existing East-West highway in Maine, which is, which is the rail line. We already got a corridor straight through Maine, from the Mari-times into, into, into Quebec, and it’s been there for a hundred years. The line is there, the right away is there, we don’t have to spend a lot of money and, and do all of the environmental things to, to create a new strip through the state. So, I’m listening, the cases that would help the Port, it would help some of our great paper mills, and I’m very sympathetic to that, but I’m, I’m skeptical the benefits won’t be outweighed by the costs, particularly to run an entirely new corridor right through the state of Maine. But I do think we got to get natural gas to some of those paper mills, that’s the best thing we can do for them.”
“As a state senator, I’ve voted against using public money to fund a study for a private road. I don’t think that’s an appropriate use of government. I don’t believe that infrastructure should be privately owned, only to serve the interests of corporations that really just have a profit motive. So, the East-West highway, as it is currently proposed, is not something I support. If in fact, we as a community, as a state, as a country, need an East-West highway, if that would better the lives of people and businesses, then we should support it, using tax payer dollars and have it be open and accessible to everybody, on an equal basis. I do not believe that privatization of our infrastructure and our public ways is a good thing. It’s not going to help average working families. It’s gonna just help the corporations and super wealthy people that already have so much. ”
“I think anything that can help with economic development is a good thing. My concern is the private property rights that are associated with that, so as this moves forward, I’ll be anxious to see how the legislature tackles it.”