Monday, November 3, 2008
As a veteran of the Iraq War, I worked with people who risked their lives in the service of their country. They knew that our right to vote is a fundamental freedom that generations of military men and women have sacrificed their lives to protect. Our democracy functions because of the people who get involved.
A record number of volunteers have come from all across the district to make phone calls, put up yard signs and campaign door-to-door in support of my candidacy. There is still time to make your voice heard by contacting our office at 774-0411 and becoming a part of the Summers for Congress team.
This year, record turnout is predicted across the country. I hope that you will be a part of that--whether you vote early at your local municipal clerk's office or at the polls tomorrow. And I hope that I can count on your support to improve our national security, to attract and keep good paying jobs in Maine and to lower taxes.
You can find your polling location by visiting Maine.gov's Voter Information Lookup. Also, check out SummersForCongress.org to learn more about my positions on the issues most important to Mainers.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Full results are:
PRESIDENT John McCain (R) 18,840 (34 percent) Cynthia McKinney (G) 592 (1.1 percent) Ralph Nader (I) 1,262 (2.3 percent) Barack Obama (D) 34,302 (61.9 percent)
U.S. SENATOR Tom Allen (D) 18,300 (41.8 percent) Susan Collins (R) 26,111 (58.2 percent)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 1 Charlie Summers (R) 12,450 (50.6 percent), Chellie Pingree (D) 11,968 (48.6 percent)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The debates have also highlighted where Chellie and I disagree on policy.
In our Tuesday debate at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, I answered questions submitted by other Mainers. Check out a video of the debate here.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Summers: I'll stand up for small business and low taxes
As I have traveled across Maine's 1st Congressional District campaigning, I have met with dozens of people daily.
Whether working one of my Thirty Jobs throughout the district, picking corn in Nobleboro, working construction in Portland, delivering home heating oil in York – or hosting Town Hall Meetings for undecided voters to discuss the issues that are important to them – Mainers have been very direct in letting me know exactly how they feel.
And they have a simple message for their next member of Congress: "We're mad, and we've had it!"
Mainers have every right to be angry. They pay taxes to a government in Washington in which they have little confidence.
They just watched Congress give Wall Street a $700 billion bailout, and the Senate dole out $150 billion in pork, while they work hard, play by the rules and struggle just to make ends meet. They hear politicians who too often say one thing and then do another.
I firmly believe that things must change in Washington. We need a return to a government "for the people" – a government that doesn't overtax us and then spend our money irresponsibly.
With all due respect to the editors of this newspaper, I don't think they did their homework on Chellie Pingree's record – into what she says versus what she has done – when they made their endorsement last Sunday.
And nowhere is the choice between my opponent and me clearer than when it comes to support of jobs and Maine small businesses, as well as taxes.
During her time in Augusta, Chellie Pingree voted for nearly every tax increase that came up for a vote. She was one of only eight senators to oppose a proposal to eliminate the meals and lodging tax on private-pay nursing home residents.
And she voted against exempting pensions and retirement benefits, as well as military retiree benefits, from the income tax.
But by far most shocking of all, my opponent voted in the Maine Senate to tax the Social Security benefits of senior citizens making only $25,000 a year. This plan would have given the revenue from this new tax to union employees who already had pensions.
That is unconscionable, and I will never vote that way in Congress.
In this uncertain economy, a tax increase is the last thing anyone needs. Yet that is exactly what Chellie Pingree has promised she will support in Congress.
By following her advice and repealing the tax cuts that the Congress has passed over the last eight years, we would be exacting a heavy tax increase on the people who can afford it least.
While she attempts to dress up what she wants to do in class-warfare terminology – "repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans" – her actions would be detrimental to every single Mainer.
My opponent and I also have starkly different records on helping small businesses. Small businesses are the real creators of jobs. I know the needs of small-business owners because I've been one and because I've helped dozens of them start or expand their firms.
I know that to encourage small businesses to grow and create jobs, we need to keep taxes low and reduce unfair and burdensome regulations.
And my record speaks for itself – I always voted with those principles in mind in the state Senate. For my efforts, the National Federation of Independent Business, a leading small-business group, gave me a 100 percent rating. They gave my opponent a lifetime rating of 11 percent.
Mainers want leaders in Washington who are going to look out for them, their families and their jobs, not shovel money to their special-interest friends.
They're fed up with the partisanship and polarization that has paralyzed our political process.
But most of all, they just want someone in Congress who represents them.
At a Town Hall Meeting the other day, someone in the audience asked me, "Why do we have to go to the 2nd District to thank someone for voting for our best interests?" They were referring to Rep. Mike Michaud's opposition to the bailout.
My response to that is when I'm in Congress, you won't have to. You'll have someone who will fight for you and your interests every step of the way.
But it will take your vote on Nov. 4, and I'd be honored to have it.
— Special to the Telegram
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I will speak to my personal story of being called to active duty in Iraq - my wife, Ruth, campaigning on my behalf until my return home just three weeks before the primary election - as well as voice my support for Senator John McCain's candidacy, a man I think personifies principled service to country.
Gov. Sarah Palin's speech last night has energized this delegation, and set the tone for what is sure to be an exciting evening here in St. Paul, as Senator McCain steps up to the podium. I'm honored and thrilled at the opportunity to not only be a part of tonight's program and lend support to the Republican presidential ticket, but to represent the Maine delegation on a national stage.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Our Maine summer always seems to fly by much too quickly, but this year, the looming fall and winter are taking on a whole new meaning. With high prices at the pump, many Maine families may have tabled their regular summer vacations, and are now are facing a cold truth - it will cost them at least twice as much to heat their homes this year than last. No one needs to tell you - the rising cost of oil is hitting Maine families hard. In fact, we have the highest percentage of oil-heated homes in the country at 80%. No one should have to choose between keeping their family warm and keeping them fed, filling their tank or filling their prescriptions, paying an energy bill or paying a tuition bill.
In the next 15-20 years America’s objective must be to become as close to energy independent as possible - it’s crucial to both our economic security and our national security. And, here’s the good news: we can do it. This country was built on American ambition and the goal of self-sufficiency - I have faith in our ability to solve our energy problems here at home with the valuable resources available to us, starting with the untapped billions of barrels of American oil.
This isn’t a Republican issue, it’s not a Democratic issue, it’s not a liberal nor a conservative issue - it’s an American issue, and one on which we must take action NOW. We don’t have the luxury of wasting time by pointing fingers, politicking or avoiding tough votes. Americans need - and deserve - a commitment to finding solutions. What Americans need is a comprehensive energy plan that balances our short-term needs and long-term goals. For example, the use of wind technology is a great step towards making clean and renewable energy more readily available, but it’s not going to fuel your car anytime soon, or bring down the price of your heating oil this winter, or the next. The cold hard truth is that oil as a base form of power is here to stay for a while and therefore, America must increase its domestic oil supply in an environmentally safe way, while at the same time developing alternative energy sources, and, just as importantly, encouraging conservation.
You’re probably tired of the blur of energy proposals coming from politicians of every kind, but I believe the most effective approach can be quite simple, based on common sense and a commitment to taking immediate action to tap into – and maximize – the resources at our fingertips:
Again, our first and immediate step needs to be drilling for American oil here in the U.S. Why would we not want to tap into the estimated 900 billion barrels of our own oil under the surface of our own country and off our coasts when there are reserves that can be safely and cleanly accessed? “But, it may take years until we are able to get that oil,” you may have heard. Well, if we had begun the process years ago, we may not be in the crisis we are today. In the short-term, announcing to the world that we are willing to look for oil wherever it exists in America will have a chilling effect on the oil speculation market - thus decreasing the price at the pump. In the longer-term, increasing the supply of our own oil will significantly reduce the cost of filling our tanks and heating our homes, not to mention reduce the dependence on foreign oil that is also a threat to our national security.
What’s our best resource when it comes to energy for our future? It’s the know-how of American entrepreneurs, scientists and experts. Let’s give them the tools, the access, the incentives, to get to work in continuing to develop alternative energy sources, including offering tax credits that make new facilities and research opportunities more affordable. At the same time we increase our domestic supply of oil - I’m committed to fostering the development of other innovative, renewable energy sources, including clean coal, solar, wind, and nuclear. By increasing both the supply and the diversity of fuels we use - and adopting technologies that allow us to use those fuels more efficiently - we can reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources, boost the productivity of our industries, and insulate families and businesses from the effects of politics and unrest in countries a world away. No one energy source is the answer to all of our problems - a balanced, diversified energy supply from here in the U.S. is our best course.
Americans - and Mainers in particular - are already dedicated to and taking the lead in creating a “green” culture. Environmental stewardship is a movement that’s becoming a part of daily life for millions of people, and your government should do all it can to empower you in those efforts. I feel strongly that Americans who power their homes or businesses with solar, wind, or other alternative sources should receive significant tax credits to offset the cost of their responsible energy usage - and, those who purchase cars such as hybrids or fuel-efficient diesels should not only receive a federal tax rebate, but have the opportunity to deduct the interest paid on their vehicle loans from their federal income taxes (just like they do with their mortgage). In the meantime, let’s also reach out to those who may need help most. I support a tax credit of up to $4,000 for New Englanders and other Americans facing cold winter months. This tax credit would be used as a reimbursement for individuals purchasing home heating oil or investing in non-petroleum based supplements or conversions to their home’s energy system.
It’s time to send a clear message to the world that we are serious about addressing our energy needs. It’s time to send a clear message to Washington that we’re serious about taking action NOW to harness American resources and American ingenuity.I’m ready to take a stand. I’m ready to get to work. Are you?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
We have had a great few weeks, walking in parades, visiting fairs, attending fund raisers, meeting with supporters and, as you can tell from the new banner on the site, updating our web site. We can now be found on Facebook, My Space, Twitter and others. We are always adding new events, pictures and articles as they happen so I hope you check back often.
While you are on the site, I would really appreciate it if you would take a moment to check out the new features on our home page, including the box on the right that gives you opportunities to take action: for example, click on "Join" to get involved in the campaign and join our growing list of supporters, or click the "Share" button to spread the word about my candidacy to your friends and family. Telling your family and friends about my campaign is the best way to get out the message!
This is an important campaign and one that can be won - but only with your support. Over the next few weeks I will be visiting towns throughout the District and would love to stop in your business, say hi, and buy you a cup of coffee - just let me know.
I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail ~