After working for several years as a lawyer representing non-profit groups in front of the state legislature, Merrill ran as a Democrat for a State House seat in 2004, capturing 60% of the vote in a heavily Republican district. After becoming an Independent (and throwing the House into a partisan tie), she authored the book Setting the Maine Course: We Can Get There From Here, in which she outlines an intriguing mix of policies that includes scrapping both the corporate income tax and economic development tax breaks, dedicating the sales tax to education, having the state pick up the tab for teacher pay, increasing environmental regulation, decreasing all other regulation, establishing a surplus account to cover budget shortfalls, and fighting urban sprawl. She is now an announced Independent candidate for Governor.
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