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Howie Hawkins has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2014 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

New York Gubernatorial Election 2014 Political Courage Test


Candidate Answer
Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.
Inferred Answer
Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.
Unknown Answer
Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.
Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.
Pro-choicea) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Nob) Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Noe) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Nof) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Nog) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
Noh) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
i) Other or expanded principles:

I support Senate Bill 5881, Safeguarding Reproductive Health, which is also point 10 of the Women's Equality Act, which would Ensure that a woman can access abortion care in New York State when her health is at risk by codifying in New York State law the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. the legislation would ensure that a woman in New York can get an abortion within 24 weeks of pregnancy, or when necessary to protect her life or health.

1) State Spending:

Using the key, indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.

Greatly Increasea) Education (higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increasec) Environment
Maintain Statusd) Health care
Greatly Decreasee) Law enforcement/corrections
Greatly Increasef) Transportation/infrastructure
Greatly Increaseg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories:

2) State Taxes:

Using the key, indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.

Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increasec) Corporate taxes
Greatly Increased) Gas/Oil taxes
Greatly Decreasee) Property taxes
Greatly Decreasef) Sales taxes
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseh) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Greatly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
j) Other or expanded principles:

Restore the more progressive tax and revenue sharing of the 1970s: more progressive income tax, retain the stock transfer tax, cut corporate welfare. 95% of New Yorkers would get a tax cut while state revenues would increase by 20%. Restore revenue sharing to 8% of state revenues (now it's less than 1%) to pay for state mandates on local governments, enabling local governments to both fully fund municipal services and lower property taxes.

3) Budget Stabilization:

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing New York's budget.

Yesa) Tapping into New York's "rainy day" fund
Nob) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Noc) Reducing or eliminating public worker collective bargaining
Nod) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
Noe) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
Nof) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
g) Other or expanded principles:

Balance the budget by raising taxes on the rich. The top 1% received 10% of all income in New York State in 1980. But 2007, they received 35%. Meanwhile, the top tax track was cut in half and bottom bracket (the first $16,000 for a couple) was doubled from 2% to 4%. In 1981, the state started rebating 100% of the stock transfer tax, worth $12 to $16 billion a year, or equal to about 10% of the current state budget. Keep the stock transfer tax and restore progressive taxation and New York will have no problem balancing its budget.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?

Yes1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
Yes3) Corporate
No4) Political Party
Yesb) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesd) Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
Noe) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
f) Other or expanded principles:

I support full campaign financing, the Clean Money bill (A04116/S04501), which provides for equal public campaign grants sufficient to communicate with the voters of a district for every candidate who qualifies by collection a number of $5 contributions sufficient to demonstrate support. Candidate who opt run 100% on clean public money. The Clean Money bill is different from the bill for partial campaign financing with matching funds passed by the Assembly in 2013 with Gov. Cuomo's support. It provides for a limited amount of public financing while unlimited private financing continues. That would be a reform that does not reform.

Noa) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
Yesc) Do you support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
Nod) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
Yese) Do you support enacting legislation raising the age for adult criminal prosecution from 16 years old?
Nof) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Nog) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
h) Other or expanded principles:

We can best prevent street crime and violence by attacking poverty, economic insecurity, and lack of access to mental health care. That means the state of New York should provide a minimum income above poverty, public jobs for the unemployed in public services and public works, and a universal single-payer public health plan that includes full mental health coverage. We should also remember that white collar crime costs more than street crime, from wage theft by employers to mortgage fraud by Wall Street financial giants. We need stronger enforcement agains corporate crime.

Noa) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesb) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Yesc) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Nod) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Yese) Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Yesf) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Yesg) Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
h) Other or expanded principles:

Tax cuts for big corporates and the rich ("financial incentives") are supposed to trickle down to working people in the form of new productive investments and jobs. This corporate welfare doesn't trickle down. I support a bottom-up approach based on full employment and higher wages, which will increase demand in the economy and then businesses will invest and hire to make money meeting that demand.

Noa) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
Nob) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
Yesc) Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?
Nod) Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?
Noe) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yesf) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Yesg) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from New York high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles:

I support fully funding public schools by ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment and restoring full Foundation Aid. I support tuition-free CUNY, SUNY, and Community Colleges. I support ending the high-stakes test and punish policies associated with the Common Core standards, which are designed to define students, teachers, and schools in poor, segregated communities as "failed" in order to privatize those schools as charters. I favor supporting and improving public schools in disadvantaged communities with equitable funding and curricula developed by teachers and local school boards focused on critical thinking, collaborative projects, and creativity, like students at elite private schools have.

Yesa) Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?
Nob) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
Yesc) Do you support state funding for improvements to New York's energy infrastructure?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yese) Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
f) Other or expanded principles:

I support bringing the state's energy infrastructure central power plants, transmission and distribution lines, and pipelines into a public power system consisting of locally elected public power districts that are federated at the state level for coordinated planning. Public ownership of the energy infrastructure for distributed renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal) connected by a smart-grid energy internet will allow plenty of scope for private household and small business power generation, installation, and maintenance of small-scale solar, wind, and ground-source heating and cooling.

Yesa) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesc) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Nod) Should a license be required for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles:

The SAFE Act should be revised. Its quick passage under a message of necessity was about getting headlines, not properly vetting all its provisions. Many of the amendments to family law are good, e.g., disarming persons subject to orders of protection. But many of the amendments to gun law are invasions of privacy (linking background checks and medical records) or criminalizing what ought to be lawful, e.g. possession of rifles that are legitimate for hunting, sport shooting, and self-defense. We should review the provisions of the SAFE Act and keep the good ones and repealing the bad ones.

Yesa) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Nob) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Noc) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Yesd) Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act?
Noe) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Nof) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yesg) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles:

I support enacting a state single-payer health program. A 2009 study authorized by the state legislature found that by 2019, New Yorkers would save $28 billion a year under single payer compared to the mandated private insurance system we got with the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act does allow waivers for states that adopt a plan that converse more people. A state single payer plan would meet that requirement. The state should enact single payer and apply for the waiver when it becomes available in 2017.

Yesa) Do you support same-sex marriage?
Yesb) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in New York's anti-discrimination laws?
Yesc) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in New York's anti-discrimination laws?
d) Other or expanded principles:
In the following area, on an attached page, or via e-mail, please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

Jobs: Public jobs for the unemployed in public works and services. 4.5 million construction and manufacturing jobs building a 100% clean energy system by 2030.

Schools: Fully and equitably fund public schools. Tuition-Free CUNY and SUNY. End high-stakes testing.

Taxes: Restore the more progressive tax and revenue sharing policies of the 1970s. 95% would get tax cuts while the state would have 20% more revenue. Increase state revenue sharing to pay for state mandates and cut property taxes.