Commitment 2020 candidate profile: Independent Senate candidate Lisa Savage

During the U.S. Senate campaign in Maine, upended like so much of life by the coronavirus pandemic, Independent candidate Lisa Savage has still found a safe way to meet voters with traditional — albeit socially-distanced — retail politics at the state’s farmers markets.”It’s a good audience for us because they’re interested in sustainable farming practices, healthy food, and many of them are interested in climate,” said Lisa Savage during an interview for a candidate profile with WMTW News.The former teacher from Solon said the pandemic has forced much of campaigning online, where her campaign has put on informational webinars on topics such as the cost of war, virtual events which more than 10,000 people have seen, she said.In addition to changing how she’s campaigning, Savage — who’s polling at five percent in the most recent state survey — said the coronavirus has also brought into sharp relief the importance of healthcare.”You know I’m the only candidate that supports Medicare for all, in a pandemic,” Savage said. “That’s a pretty compelling message.”Healthcare as top issueSavage said she believes extending health care to everyone in the country would be the fastest way to manage the pandemic.”My health care is only as good as the person standing in line next to me at the post office,” Savage said. “It would need to be extended to everyone and it would need to be improved so that it covers things it doesn’t cover now such as mental health, dental, vision, hearing. But all the other wealthy — and many not very wealthy countries — have single payer universal health care of some kind.”When asked about her health care plan, Savage confirmed it would eliminate private insurance.”No private insurance. The profit motive must go. I’m someone who doesn’t believe the words profit and health care belong in the same sentence together,” Savage said.Push to transition Bath Iron WorksSavage — who describes herself as a strong-progressive — is also campaigning for the Green New Deal.”You know a transition with justice is at the heart of a Green New Deal,” Savage said. “It does not mean throwing people out of work, it means redirecting the federal funding to building things that we need, more than another warship.”For Maine, Savage said she would like to see Bath Iron Works transitioned from making warships, to creating some sort of renewable infrastructure like a light rail system.WMTW News also asked Savage about her protests at BIW, where she’s been arrested several times for trespassing during demonstrations against the christening of new warships.”I had tried meeting with my congressional representatives, talking to the paper, writing Op-Eds, talking to TV reporters, writing letters, organizing, marching, demonstrating, street theatre — and so some civil resistance was in order because we had pretty much tried everything else,” Savage said.In terms of paying for programs like Medicare for all and the Green New Deal, Savage said she would target Pentagon spending, “the elephant in the room as far as spending goes,” and she would increase taxes for high earners.”I’ve been paying an income tax rate of about 28 percent. My husband is a self-employed woodworker and I’m a schoolteacher. People like Jeff Bezos are paying zero? That’s not fair,” Savage said.The ranked-choice voting effectWhen it comes to income, Savage also called herself the only non-millionaire in the Senate race.”I think I probably have a much better grasp of what most Mainers’ lives are like and what are the problems they’re struggling with and what are their needs,” Savage said.It was her experience as a teacher working with families in Central Maine who are struggling that drove her into the race, she said.Ranked-choice voting also played a role in that decision, Savage told WMTW News:”I was not planning on running for elected office, but the ranked-choice voting factor really made me consider it because I realized I wouldn’t be viewed as a spoiler — well some people will still erroneously view you as a spoiler — but under ranked-choice voting there’s really no concept of spoiling an election.”

During the U.S. Senate campaign in Maine, upended like so much of life by the coronavirus pandemic, Independent candidate Lisa Savage has still found a safe way to meet voters with traditional — albeit socially-distanced — retail politics at the state’s farmers markets.

“It’s a good audience for us because they’re interested in sustainable farming practices, healthy food, and many of them are interested in climate,” said Lisa Savage during an interview for a candidate profile with WMTW News.

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The former teacher from Solon said the pandemic has forced much of campaigning online, where her campaign has put on informational webinars on topics such as the cost of war, virtual events which more than 10,000 people have seen, she said.

In addition to changing how she’s campaigning, Savage — who’s polling at five percent in the most recent state survey — said the coronavirus has also brought into sharp relief the importance of healthcare.

“You know I’m the only candidate that supports Medicare for all, in a pandemic,” Savage said. “That’s a pretty compelling message.”

Healthcare as top issue

Savage said she believes extending health care to everyone in the country would be the fastest way to manage the pandemic.

“My health care is only as good as the person standing in line next to me at the post office,” Savage said. “It would need to be extended to everyone and it would need to be improved so that it covers things it doesn’t cover now such as mental health, dental, vision, hearing. But all the other wealthy — and many not very wealthy countries — have single payer universal health care of some kind.”

When asked about her health care plan, Savage confirmed it would eliminate private insurance.

“No private insurance. The profit motive must go. I’m someone who doesn’t believe the words profit and health care belong in the same sentence together,” Savage said.

Push to transition Bath Iron Works

Savage — who describes herself as a strong-progressive — is also campaigning for the Green New Deal.

“You know a transition with justice is at the heart of a Green New Deal,” Savage said. “It does not mean throwing people out of work, it means redirecting the federal funding to building things that we need, more than another warship.”

For Maine, Savage said she would like to see Bath Iron Works transitioned from making warships, to creating some sort of renewable infrastructure like a light rail system.

WMTW News also asked Savage about her protests at BIW, where she’s been arrested several times for trespassing during demonstrations against the christening of new warships.

“I had tried meeting with my congressional representatives, talking to the paper, writing Op-Eds, talking to TV reporters, writing letters, organizing, marching, demonstrating, street theatre — and so some civil resistance was in order because we had pretty much tried everything else,” Savage said.

In terms of paying for programs like Medicare for all and the Green New Deal, Savage said she would target Pentagon spending, “the elephant in the room as far as spending goes,” and she would increase taxes for high earners.

“I’ve been paying an income tax rate of about 28 percent. My husband is a self-employed woodworker and I’m a schoolteacher. People like Jeff Bezos are paying zero? That’s not fair,” Savage said.

The ranked-choice voting effect

When it comes to income, Savage also called herself the only non-millionaire in the Senate race.

“I think I probably have a much better grasp of what most Mainers’ lives are like and what are the problems they’re struggling with and what are their needs,” Savage said.

It was her experience as a teacher working with families in Central Maine who are struggling that drove her into the race, she said.

Ranked-choice voting also played a role in that decision, Savage told WMTW News:

“I was not planning on running for elected office, but the ranked-choice voting factor really made me consider it because I realized I wouldn’t be viewed as a spoiler — well some people will still erroneously view you as a spoiler — but under ranked-choice voting there’s really no concept of spoiling an election.”