Courier Publications reporters and editors came up with a list of questions for candidates based in part on concerns raised by members of the public in "Heard on the Street" interviews. The questions were posed to candidates via email.

Republican Jethro Pease is seeking a seat in the House of Representatives in Distict 44 covering Appleton, Hope, Islesboro, Liberty, Lincolnville, Morrill and Searsmont. He is vying against Democrat Lloyd Chase for the position that currently is held by Andy O'Brien of Lincolnville. O'Brien is not seeking re-election.

Pease and his wife of 45 years, Diana, owned and operated two McDonald's — Belfast and Bucksport — for 20 years. He is a long-time volunteer firefighter who spent 21 years as chief of Morrill Fire Department. Pease has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Husson College (now University).

He was born in Rockland and lived in Lincolnville Center until his high school years. He lived in Tenants Harbor and has resided in Morrill for the past 31 years. Pease and Diana — formerly Diana Cilley of Lincolnville — have a daughter, two married adult sons and five grandchildren.

Why are you running?

To improve the opportunities for our children and grandchildren to stay and work in Maine.

What government services, if any, do you feel should be privatized?

Some of the Department of Transportation duties,  I.E. bridge maintenance, some winter maintenance in various areas, various entitlement programs to 19- and 20-year-olds.

What services do you feel need to be protected from budget cuts?

Prison staffing, hospital contracts with the state for mental health programs, youth and senior adult protection programs.

What services that are private now should be taken on by the government?

None that I am aware of at this time.

Mitt Romney has proposed kicking Medicaid costs back to the states to administer and cutting federal funds for them. Would you support this plan, and how do you think it would impact state government and taxes?

First, I have not heard him say this as written, Secondly, I do not yet know enough about both arguments surrounding this issue to speak on it.

What is your position on women's health issues including insurance coverage for contraceptives and  the option of having abortions to terminate unwanted pregnancies?

If anyone wishes to purchase insurance coverage, it it is their right. I am not sure how I feel totally on this issue, I have mixed thoughts. As a man, I would mostly see this as an issue between a woman and her conscience. But, I do not believe it is the roll of government to encourage and/or fund it.

We have seen a push, particularly from Republicans, for more showing of identification at the polls. What are your thoughts on balancing the need for preventing voter fraud with the need to provide access to citizens wishing to vote?

This is an area I have been asking town clerks and registrars of voters about. To a person, they have replied that identification is a must and registration should occur at least five days before elections to allow them time to do the job correctly. I do not, or have not, ever known a person who could not do their registration before voting day, it is a matter of self responsibility.

Why aren't there more jobs?

Easy — not enough employers. That said, we need to lower the cost of energy, improve technical skills of the workforce, and remove any rules, regulations, and ordinances that are not founded on common sense protections, but are there to appease a few special interest groups. Once we improve these areas our business climate will improve. We are on the far end of most markets, so costs must be lowered to do business.

What would you do for those seeking to start businesses and create jobs?

I think the above answer is an important start.

How would you address the challenge of providing higher education for low and middle-income young people who cannot afford college without massive loans?

A revolving loan program with low interest formed by private parties, educational institutions, and government would assist but not totally do all that is needed.  Good quality, well-paying jobs for parents is the first step to further education.


How can we help Maine people transition from traditional energy sources, particularly for heat, to renewable sources?

Editor's note: Pease did not respond to the question.

What should be done to protect Maine's environment and resources? Is this issue a priority for you as a candidate?

Unsure what more needs to be done. We have had more than 40 straight years of new programs or standards. A priority, yes, but not the only one. We must set our fiscal house in order or we will not be able to maintain what is in place or monitor results.

Do you support state government buying more land to preserve it as state parks?

Not at this time, we do not have the revenues to fund what we are already legally committed to do.

Where do you stand on campaign financing?

I do not know in what regards this question is asking.


What should be done about the state's welfare programs including disability benefits, MaineCare, and  substance abuse treatment subsidies?

This is a major priority to constantly review. These areas account for a great deal of our tax dollars spent.  We have a moral and legal obligation as a people to take care of those whom truly need help, but, we all know of people that could be and should be providing for themselves and other dependents that sit on their hands and do nothing.  The system needs to work for those paying for it and those truly needing assistance.  The challenge is doing it without hurting people in need.

Do you support allowing gay marriage in Maine?

I am truly caught between  the rights of any couple to be treated with equal rights, including gays and hetro couples living together for many years and the word “marriage.” It seems we can provide equal, not special, rights to all people without removing what has been traditional for hundreds of years.

How do you feel the Tea Party movement has affected local, state and federal politics and policy decisions?

I have not seen a lot or results yet. I sincerely hope this movement energizes the public and those of us running for office to look hard at what the role of government is at all levels and what we need to provide and what we are willing to pay for. That is conservative fiscal planning,  which we should all be doing in our own homes.