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Greg Sowards

Greg Sowards' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Greg Sowards
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Karen; 6 Children: Jesse, Ben, Abe, Beth, Sam, Melodie
Birth Date: 09/26/1949
Birth Place: Alamosa, CO
Home City: Las Cruces, NM
Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Greg Sowards refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

New Mexico Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester.
Xd) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Dilation and extraction or "partial-birth" abortion procedures should be legal.
g) Medicare, Medicaid, and federal subsidies should be prohibited from being used on abortion procedures.
h) Other or expanded principles.

A society who regards the life of the innocent unborn lightly can only blame itself when others in that society regard life in general of little consequence.

Incest and rape also involve innocent lives, I leave the decision up to the victim and her God.

It would be a wonderful day if the debate in Washington were between (d) and (e) above.

Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.
1) Budget Priorities
Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Greatly Decreaseb) Arts
Greatly Increasec) Defense
Greatly Decreased) Education
Greatly Decreasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) FEMA
Greatly Increaseg) Homeland security
Slightly Decreaseh) International aid
Slightly Increasei) Law enforcement (Federal)
Maintain Statusj) Law enforcement (State)
Maintain Statusk) Medical research
Maintain Statusl) National parks
Slightly Decreasem) Public health services
Maintain Statusn) Scientific research
Slightly Decreaseo) Space exploration programs
Maintain Statusp) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Greatly Decreaseq) United Nations
Greatly Decreaser) Welfare
s) Other or expanded categories

Federal government?s first priority is to defend America and its society. We have become involved at the federal level, in many programs that should be handled locally. We have clouded many issues that we will not be able to sustain in the future. We need to prioritize what programs should be handled at the federal level and which programs at the state level, then work to achieve that balance. The Constitution says that items not covered by the Constitution became an obligation of the sovereign states not the other way around. We have forgotten that as a nation.

2) Defense Spending
Slightly Increasea) Armed forces personnel training
Greatly Increaseb) Intelligence operations
Greatly Increasec) Military hardware
Greatly Increased) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Greatly Increasee) National missile defense
Slightly Increasef) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Increaseg) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Greatly Increaseh) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increasei) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories

Part of the defense budget would be well spent controlling our borders to the south, north, and all ports on the sides. We should remove from our defense budget. Such programs and earmarks that have nothing to do with defense. This would increase the amount of funds available for actual defense he projects.

3) Taxes
Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.
Family Income Taxes
Maintain Statusa) Less than $12,000
Maintain Statusb) $12,001-$40,000
Slightly Decreasec) $40,001-$100,000
Slightly Decreased) $100,001-$180,000
Slightly Decreasee) $180,001-$350,000
Slightly Decreasef) $350,001 and above
g) Other or expanded categories

The fair tax would level the playing field for American-made products, and would rid citizens of the IRS. Turning raw materials into finished products for export is the only way to build wealth of the nation's economy. Eliminating corporate taxes would encourage companies to come back home, bringing jobs technology and investment capital with them. We are eating our seed corn while driving the goose that laid the golden egg out of America. Until this can happen, our history from JFK to present teaches us that lowering taxes increases revenue. Let's continue until that equation no longer works. http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer

Other Taxes
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decreaseb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Eliminated) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasee) Gasoline taxes
Eliminatef) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories

The fair tax would level the playing field for American-made products, and it would rid citizens of the IRS. Turning raw materials into finished products for export is the only way to build true wealth of the nation's economy. Presently, our social programs are built into every hour of labor performed, that prices are products higher than foreign products that have none of their social programs built-in. Collecting those taxes at the retail level would cause all to benefit. That would allow us to export products cheaper becoming more competitive in the world market. http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer

Deductions/Credits
Greatly Increasea) Charitable contribution deduction
Slightly Increaseb) Child tax credit
Maintain Statusc) Earned income tax credit
Greatly Increased) Medical expense deduction
Slightly Increasee) Mortgage deduction
Greatly Increasef) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories

Many of us questions would be answered by supporting the fair tax. That's one of the problems with deductions, is it puts so much power into the hands of politicians. And so the individuals who are spending their money. Go to http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer to find out the whole story on the fair tax it is a great program whose time has come that everyone needs to educate themselves on.

Yes4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
Yes5) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
6) Other or expanded principles

A balanced budget is essential if we are to remain a free and sovereign people. We're almost 10 trillion in debt increased taxation is not the answer. I will work to bring every legitimate project to New Mexico, but I will not buy your vote by squandering our grand-children's money and future on pork barrel projects such as 'bridges to nowhere' throughout America. Nor will I allow others to do so.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Xa) Support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
b) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
c) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
d) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
e) Support prohibiting ads containing candidates' name that are paid for by third parties from airing 60 days before a primary and 30 days before a general federal election.
Xf) Support instant run-off voting (IRV).
g) Support designating Election Day as a national holiday.
Xh) Support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations.
i) Support limiting the President's use of signing statements in order to prevent an alternative interpretation of the bill.
Xj) Support a federal shield law to protect reporter-source privilege.
k) Other or expanded principles

It isn't that money corrupts politicians - money only brings out corrupt politicians.

Reporters should not be able to report items that are questionable to the security of our nation. Just for the sake of getting the scoop. Items that could be construed as a national security breach and a person using common sense should be able to determine that should not have reporter source privilege. We must protect America, from inside and out.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
Xa) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xf) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xg) Support strict penalties for internet crime (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
h) Require that crimes based on sexual orientation be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Other or expanded principles

I feel that to purposely instigate viruses and Trojan horses for the sole purpose of destroying records or hijacking equipment should be considered a crime against humanity and dealt with accordingly.

Prison should not be viewed as room and board with gym privileges. It should be so uncomfortable that no one wants to go back.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support the federal government funding universal pre-K programs.
Xb) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
Xc) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
d) Allow teachers and professionals to receive federal funding to establish charter or magnet schools.
e) Increase funding for the Pell Grant program.
f) Decrease interest rates of Stafford Loans.
Xg) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
Xh) Ban university financial aid officers from owning stock in or accepting gifts from student loan lenders.
Xi) Require universities to disclose financial relationships with lenders.
j) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
Xk) Eliminate all federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
l) Other or expanded principles

I believe education should be left in the hands of the local community. I believe that the further a bureaucracy is from the problem it is trying to solve, the less chance it has of solving it. The waste and disrespect generated is proportional to that distance. Who knows better than the community, what children need in that community?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today’s job market.
Xb) Reduce government regulation of the private sector.
c) Encourage employers to offer child care services, flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
d) Increase the federal minimum wage.
Xe) Support the right of workers to unionize.
f) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
g) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
h) Include gender identity in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles

Many of these programs can be handled at the local level, as stated before I believe that the further a bureaucracy is from the problem it is trying to solve, the less chance it has of solving it. The waste and disrespect generated is proportional to that distance.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
Xc) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
d) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
e) Strengthen fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
Xf) Support domestic oil exploration in areas that are currently restricted.
g) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels.
h) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
Xi) Support research and development of nuclear reactors as an alternative energy source.
j) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits under "cap and trade" laws.
k) Support international mandatory emission targets to limit global warming.
l) Support international voluntary emission targets to limit global warming.
m) Other or expanded principles

I will always put people first. I do not believe global warming is man-made. We do need to build the control pollution, that's another issue. Capitalism coupled with a free and open market will solve our problems. Government taxes to interfere in such programs only adds to the cost of those programs. Americans are very innovative when it comes to capitalism and developing to satisfy an open market. But we must get the federal government, out of the equation.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Xa) Allow individuals to carry concealed guns.
b) Ban the sale, ownership or possession of handguns except by law enforcement and other government officials.
On (c) and (d), indicate what levels (#1-6) you support for the following categories.
Slightly Decreasec) Enforcement of existing restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Slightly Decreased) Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Other or expanded principles

The real reason we have the right to keep and bear arms is to protect ourselves. An unarmed society is a vulnerable society to the criminal element among us. The right to bear arms is as constitutional as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Without the right to personally protect your life and those in your charge. You soon lose it along with your liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness.

We must protect the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
a) Implement a universal healthcare program to guarantee coverage to all Americans, regardless of income.
Xb) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
Xc) Allow the importation of prescription drugs into the United States.
d) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
e) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
f) Support expanding child healthcare programs.
Xg) Providing healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government.
h) Other or expanded principles

I believe that the further a bureaucracy is from the problem it is trying to solve, the less chance it has of solving it. The waste and disrespect generated is proportional to that distance. Allow states the ability to come up with innovative ways of taking care of their citizens. This would allow each state to mimic those who have successful programs. The federal government could mediate between states in making those adjustments for people who move from state to state.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.
a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
Xb) Establish English as the official national language.
Xc) Support a temporary worker program.
Xd) Support harsher financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
Xf) Illegal immigrants should have to return to their countries of origin before being considered for citizenship.
g) Illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship.
Xh) Support merit-based visas over family-based visas.
i) Other or expanded principles

American society can only assimilate a limited number of immigrants. Immigration must be limited, orderly and lawful according to the needs of our country, not the needs of non-citizens or foreign governments. Everyone wants to come to America, ?to better their life?. I was stationed in Korea with the Army, believe me, everyone wanted to come to America. It truly is the land of promise. Exporting American ideas is the greatest way to Americanize the world as opposed to having America become like the world. We need to fix the 14th amendment and do away with automatic citizenship

International Aid
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international aid.
a) Support the United States granting aid to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) Support the United States granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Eliminate United States aid for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Aid granted by the United States should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

America should help nations in securing freedom for their citizens. So they might enjoy the God God-given right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Americans individual charity should sponsor humanitarian efforts in foreign countries. This will give every person who contributes a personal relationship with the suffering around the world and allow them to give of themselves as opposed to the government doing it for them. We need to get individuals back in their proper position of standing between others and devastation as opposed to interjecting the government in that position, depriving the citizens of their spiritual reward.

International Policy
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international policy.
Yesa) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
b) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesc) Should the United States impose greater international sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Undecidedd) Should the United States support the Lebanese government against insurgent forces?
Yese) Should the United States maintain its troop levels in Iraq?
Nof) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
g) Discuss your proposals for Iraq.

Leaving Iraq prematurely would be devastating to American foreign-policy and posture in the world. We have defined success in Iraq as being a functioning government that can protect itself from insurgents. We need to leave the decisions for securing that goal up to the generals and leaders on the ground. They are the professionals. We shouldn't be second-guessing them. As a veteran, I know, we need to support our men and women in uniform.

Yesh) Should the United States apply greater economic and diplomatic sanctions against North Korea if it fails to abide by its agreement to suspend its nuclear program?
Yesi) Should the United States increase financial support for Afghanistan?
Yesj) Should the United States increase military support for Afghanistan?
Yesk) Should the United States trade nuclear fuel to India for civilian purposes?
Nol) Should the United States decrease financial support for Pakistan?
Nom) Should the United States decrease military support for Pakistan?
Yesn) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in Darfur, Sudan?
Yeso) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Undecidedp) Should the United States provide economic and military support to the Transitional Government of Somalia?
Yesq) Should the United States use sanctions to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to end its human rights abuses?
Yesr) Should the United States support the creation of an independent nation of Kosovo?
s) Other or expanded principles

The United States should do what it can to support those nations who are attempting to bring freedom to their citizens. I am not for putting American soldiers in the line of fire between fighting factions in the civil war, where no true champion of humanity is recognizable in the struggle. American citizens should be given the opportunity to contribute and assemble relief efforts for people in distant lands. It should not be a function of our federal government. Charity for others should begin in the home, and with the individuals.

International Trade
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.
Noa) Do you support the United States imposing economic sanctions on China?
Yesb) Do you support the United States imposing trade sanctions on Venezuela?
Yesc) Do you support the United States involvement in free trade agreements?
Yesd) Do you support the United States involvement in intergovernmental organizations dedicated to trade?
e) Other or expanded principles

It's always good to have a place at the table. That doesn't mean you have to agree to everything that comes along. I do feel that the federal government should be very leery of entangling alliances. As a nation we should participate in no worldly organizations that would cause us to submit a portion of our sovereignty to any other government entity are worldly organization. We must maintain our sovereignty as a nation and our ability to do what we determine to be right as American citizens.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.
Yesa) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
Yesb) Should law enforcement agencies have greater discretion to monitor domestic communications, to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yesc) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Yesd) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
Yese) Do you support pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to United States national security?
Undecidedf) Do you support the creation of a federal identification card system?
Yesg) Do you support long-term use of National Guard troops to supplement the armed forces in assignments overseas?
Yesh) Should the United States expand its missile defense shield?
i) Other or expanded principles

The best deterrent to war is a strong military with defensive and offensive capabilities. There is no liberty without security. We must maintain security, while ensuring that the Constitutional rights of American citizens are protected. That doesn't mean we apply those same rights to hostiles encountered in our war on terrorism.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Noa) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Yesb) Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?
Noc) Do you support federal funding for research on existing embryonic stem cell lines?
Nod) Do you support federal funding to create lines of stem cells from new embryos?
Noe) Should the federal government consider race and gender in government contracting decisions?
Nof) Should the federal government continue affirmative action programs?
Yesg) Should the federal government regulate internet gambling?
h) Other or expanded principles

The American family is the building block of America. We must protect it in order to propagate it. Our nation depends on its survival.

Stem cell research should only be conducted on people already born. Adult stem cell research has yeilded many results while embryonic stem cell research has been fruitless. Research on embryonic stem cells would create a market for embryonic stem cells, and soon would be produced commercially. I don't think that is a place for a civilized society to go.

Affirmative action programs should be tapered down and eventually eliminated.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.
Xa) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts that they manage themselves.
b) Ensure the viability of Social Security by increasing the payroll tax.
c) Decrease benefits paid to retirees.
Xd) Support proportional increases of Social Security benefits based on the cost of living index.
e) Raise the retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
f) Other or expanded principles

We need to take another look at our Social Security program from the beginning. It also needs to be financed with the Fair-Tax as opposed to the payroll tax. That alone would eliminate many of the problems currently plaguing the system. The retirement age needs to be increased because we are living longer, and we can be productive for a longer period of time. Incentives could be put in place to do so. http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer

Minimum wage scales need to be set locally, where they mean something. Not from Washington.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.
Xa) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
Xb) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
c) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
d) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
e) Other or expanded principles

Over a period of time, the welfare program needs to be localized. As stated; I believe that the further a bureaucracy is from the problem it is trying to solve, the less chance it has of solving it. The waste and disrespect generated is proportional to that distance.

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.

First, I would control the border. Funds have been set aside to do that. It is doable and needs to be done. I'm for whatever it takes to control the border.

Second, we need to get our federal spending under control and live within our means, with a balanced budget amendment.

Third, we need to make the tax cuts permanent and seek further cuts. As long as revenues continue to increase as we cut taxes. That is were we want to be - at the point of lower taxes and highest revenue.

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