Jim's great-grandfather, John MacDonald, came down from Benedicta to help build the East Millinocket mill around 1907. For more than a hundred years that mill provided good jobs and good lives for members of his family and thousands of others. One day Jim's cousin was told to pull the wire out of the walls so it could be sold for scrap. He refused to do it. He refused to tear apart the mill that his family had helped to build. Like his cousin, Jim refuses to stand by and watch Maine be torn apart by the dishonest dealings of special interests and an out-of-touch governor. Maine is filled with hard working people looking for a fair shot at providing for their family, but the system is rigged, rewarding those who break the rules rather than those who play by them. Jim is running for governor because he believes it is time to have an honest conversation with Maine people about how we are going to make our political and economic system work for everyone, not just the rich. A stronger economy means an economy that’s more fair, where hard work is rewarded and success isn’t determined by zip code.
In 1996, Jim founded Boyle Associates, a Maine environmental firm that helped Maine companies create jobs while protecting the environment. For 21 years, Jim worked to build things – from craft breweries to wind farms. He knows that Maine small businesses can create jobs when leaders in Augusta work for them, not against them. Jim also knows that economic success is not always a straight line. Like many small business owners, even if clients were late making payments, Jim made sure his employees got paid. And as a state senator, Jim pushed for common sense economic development legislation that would create jobs and increase energy efficiency - lowering costs for families and businesses. Maine people are willing to work hard, they just need a fair shot.
Boyles are Black Bears through and through. Jim's parents met at UMaine in 1952, both his children graduated from UMaine, and in between Jim earned a degree in forestry from UMaine in 1981. By passing Question 2 last year, Maine voters sent a clear message that funding our schools need to be a top priority. Jim is committed to making investments in the classroom that ensure every student, regardless of where they are born, has a chance to get a great education.
Jim worked as a paperboy, in a restaurant, and bagging groceries, but he knew he would make a career working to protect the environment. He started his career as a forester for Great Northern Paper before joining the environmental department at Central Maine Power and eventually starting his own environmental science business. He has seen climate change firsthand and knows that we must make serious investments in renewable energy to combat the negative effects. But renewable energy is just one piece of the puzzle. We also must plan for rising sea levels, changes in lobster migration, disruptions in agriculture and other traditional industries. Jim will use his background as a scientist and his years of experience in environmental consulting to ensure we are doing everything we can as a state to battle climate change.
While providing health insurance to his employees for more than two decades, Jim has seen the cost of health care spiral out of control, and, in some cases, out of reach. Every person should be able to see their doctor when they are sick. It is that simple. The first step toward that goal is to expand MaineCare to 70,000 people in the November referendum. We then need to take steps to rein in costs, invest in prevention, and limit insurance company rate hikes. With Republican politicians in Washington putting partisan ideology and insurance company profits ahead of the health of the American people, it is crucial that we do everything we can at the state level to ensure everyone can get the care they need.