Election ’14: State Senate District 26

RACE: STATE SENATE DISTRICT 26

William Diamond Democrat

William Diamond
Democrat

District Makeup: Baldwin, Casco, Frye Island, Raymond, Standish, Windham.
Candidates: D-William Diamond, R-Kaile Warren
Background/Political experience:
Diamond: Resident of Windham; three terms Maine House; six terms Maine Senate; eight years Maine Secretary of State.
Warren: Resident of Windham; Board of Voter Registration, Cumberland; Planning Board, Cumberland; Town Council, Windham.
Q. Why did you become interested in seeking political office?
Diamond: I’ve been away from the Senate for a few years and observed that the constant name-calling and political bickering was far too prevalent. I’d like to change that tone and work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to get things done.
Warren: I have always been interested in political office. I believe it is an honor to serve people. What I do not believe in are career politicians. I believe even the best-intended end up delivering the votes their special interests desire of them. That can run contrary to putting the people’s needs first.
Q. What experiences (life, business, etc.) do you believe make you a strong candidate to serve area residents in Augusta?
Diamond: I’ve been a business owner for over 34 years; a teacher and administrator for 20 years; along with my legislative experience all will be important in maximizing my efforts as a senator.
Warren: My opponent talks a lot about his honesty and integrity. It is okay that he likes to blow his own horn. However, I tend to demonstrate the depth of my honesty and integrity through demonstrated actions. People may recall my honesty and integrity were both battle-tested in what many consider to be the most wrongful action in Maine’s history. I won that battle because of my honesty and integrity. It took a tremendous amount of courage, knowledge and sheer determination to beat this unthinkable government action. Those qualities are the qualities I will represent the voters with. I firmly believe that when you are right you fight. I will be the senator who stands strong and longer for you.
Q. There is always talk about politicians being able to “work both sides of the aisle” to tackle various issues. Speak specifically as to what you believe it takes to be successful in this area.
Diamond: A few years ago, I was the senate chairman of the state budget writing committee and during my tenure we passed five unanimous budgets because we worked together for the betterment of the people. We can do that again.
Warren: It takes good proposals whereas everyone involved wins. Career politicians tend to present in favor of their special interest and not for the majority of their constituents. I am a successful businessman who has built both a local and national brand. I know how to make things work, both from a practical and persuasive point of view. Government tends to lack common sense and business savvy. Career politicians will always talk about how they work both sides of the aisle. This is called selling perception over reality. At the end of the day, career politicians will always deliver the vote their special interest desires. Think about it, you cannot be a career politician without strong special interest backing. Said backing only happens by delivering special interest votes. It is time for change. I will go to Augusta and make a change for the people’s best interest. Anyone who knows me knows that is who I am and what I will do.

Kaile Warren Republican

Kaile Warren
Republican

Q. What do you believe are the three major, pressing issues facing Maine and local communities, and specifically address how you would propose to address them?
Diamond: Keeping property taxes along with sales and income taxes steady without raising any will be the highest priority. We will also need to reform state government in many areas, especially in the Department of Health and Human Services. Abuse and misuse of state funds need to be stopped and the department needs to have a complete audit of its programs.
Warren: Welfare reform, business regulations/taxes and making Maine’s workforce younger. Welfare reform, get drug users off it, at the same time realize that kicking them off welfare is not going to get them to kick their habits. I will take a joint approach (yes, pun intended, I do have a sense of humor). Saving your tax dollars is critical. At the same time, protecting you from the inevitable spike in crime that will come from welfare reform is of equal importance to me.
I will fight to clear unneeded regulations in order to clear a wider path for job creators in Maine. The role of government needs to be that of putting businesses in a position to be successful. I am a very pro-business person. Maine’s workforce needs to get younger and more skilled. I am a strong proponent of adult education, as well as trade education and experience. I believe the workforce needs to be built from the bottom up, not top down. When you build from the bottom up, I believe you develop a better understanding of what people’s needs are, as well as what they need to do their jobs better. Job advancement opportunity and job security has to come back. I am the candidate who gets this and will make it a priority.
Q. While campaigning, what issue seems to be at the forefront of most voters’ minds, offer some examples of comments made, and give your opinion on that subject.
Diamond: Most people are very concerned about taxes and don’t want to have them raised.  Property taxes can be devastating and people are maxed out in most cases. We must find ways to balance the state budget without any tax increases. Also, protecting children from sexual abuse and increase penalties of child sexual predators is extremely important.
Warren: People are ready for change. I hear it time, and time again. Government is stagnant and lacking the energy and new experiences necessary to improve. Most people I talk to believe even well-intended candidates change once they are elected. This tears my heart out because I am one of the few who will tell you just how things are and will go out and work for you to make needed changes.
Q. How do you plan to keep constituents up-to-date with issues that come before you?
Diamond: I have a system of doing weekly e-mails to many constituents who request to be informed. I will also incorporate informational meetings in each community and seek input from citizens on issues facing the legislature.
Warren: I plan to develop a website specifically for sharing news, opinions and my thoughts. I recognize that people are very busy with their own issues. I am sensitive to that, at the same time I want people to know their thoughts and feelings are important to me. I would like to hold Saturday morning coffee meetings — a time where people can come together and I can update them on the issues. I will also use Skype to reach people. Communication, regardless of the form, is important. When any relationship lacks communication, it suffers and never reaches its full potential. I want to give you my full potential.
Q. Finally, answer the following, “I would be the best candidate for this job because…”
Diamond: I have 34 years of business experience, 20 years as a teacher and administrator and legislative experience all of which will help me be an effective and enthusiastic senator for our district. Plus, I love working for the people.
Warren: I am not a career politician who needs to reassure you of my honesty and integrity. I am a successful businessman who has also been knocked down but not out by an unthinkable government action. I have demonstrated my honesty, integrity and ability to come back like few in politics ever have. I am a business savvy, street smart, common sense, hard working person who knows how to beat Goliath. I really want a chance to prove myself to you.

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