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John R. Ritter

John Ritter's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: John R. Ritter
On The Ballot: Running, Republican for State House - District 25
General Nov. 4, 2014
Primary May 20, 2014
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Lynn M.; 3 Children: Seth, Michael, Zacchary
Birth Date: 10/03/1950
Birth Place: Allentown, PA
Home City: Neffs, PA
Religion: Protestant
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What is the Political Courage Test?

Pennsylvania State Legislative 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.
Xb) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
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) Abortions should be subject to a mandatory waiting period.
Xg) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles

g. Provided a judge can stand as advocate for the minor's rights in cases of parental neglect or abuse.

State Budget: Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
Greatly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increasec) Emergency preparedness
Greatly Increased) Environment
Greatly Increasee) Health care
Slightly Increasef) Law enforcement
Slightly Increaseg) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statush) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories

Affordable, universal health care; development of sustainable energy sources to protect the environment; fair and equitable taxes to fund public education must be top priorities.

State Taxes: Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statuse) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Increasef) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Greatly Decreaseg) Property taxes (general)
Greatly Decreaseh) Property taxes (seniors)
Maintain Statusi) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusj) Vehicle taxes
k) Other or expanded categories

f. Although it would require an amendment to the state constitution, I favor progressive over regressive tax policies.

Yes1) Should state sales taxes be extended to Internet sales?
No2) Should accounts such as a "rainy day" fund be used to balance the state budget?
3) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
4) Other or expanded principles

The Rainy Day Fund should only be utilized to stimulate Pennsylvania's economy or balance the budget as a last resort.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of terms for Pennsylvania governors?
Nob) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Pennsylvania state senators and representatives?
Yesc) Should the size of the state legislature be reduced?
d) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yese) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesf) Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?
Nog) Should Pennsylvania participate in the federal REAL ID program?
h) Other or expanded principles

g. If REAL ID genuinely makes driver's licenses tamper proof, I could support it. A National ID or RFID I would oppose.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
Xe) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Xf) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xg) Support state and local law enforcement officials enforcing federal immigration laws.
Xh) Support hate crime legislation.
i) Other or expanded principles

As 1/3 to 2/3 of crime involves substance or alcohol abuse, we should increase treatment availability. Studies demonstrate that "wars" on drugs have failed. We should direct more funds marked for interdiction to treatment and dry up the demand.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Support state funding of universal pre-K programs.
b) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
Xc) Support state education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students.
Xd) Support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams.
e) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
f) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xg) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
h) Support using a merit pay system for teachers.
Xi) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
Xj) Support allowing illegal immigrant high school graduates of Pennsylvania to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
k) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector.
c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xf) Include sexual orientation in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination laws.
Xg) Include gender identity in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination laws.
Xh) Increase the state minimum wage.
Xi) Support laws that prevent employers from dismissing employees at will.
Xj) Support financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
k) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xl) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
m) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil, etc).
c) Support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops.
Xd) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
e) Support funding for improvements to Pennsylvania's power generating and transmission facilities.
Xf) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xg) Limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
Xh) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
i) Finance energy independence programs with a utilities surcharge.
j) Other or expanded principles

a) I support development of ethanol and butanol production from non-food sources such as agricultural waste and algae.
e) The state should be involved in improving the power grid, but not in subsidizing conventional power utilities.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Yesa) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Nob) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Noc) Should a license be required for gun possession?
Yesd) Do you support current levels of enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yese) Do you support current state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
f) Other or expanded principles

b) Only with a permit issue by authorities.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
Xa) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
c) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Allow patients to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Require hospitals and labs to release reports on infections that are a risk to public health, while not compromising patient confidentiality.
Xf) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Pennsylvania.
Xg) Support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xh) Support using the Mcare surplus to extend coverage to the uninsured.
Xi) Increase tobacco taxes to fund programs that extend coverage to the uninsured.
j) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Yesa) Should Pennsylvania recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Yesb) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Yesc) Should Pennsylvania provide state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples?
Yesd) Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?
e) Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?
Yesf) Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Nog) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
Noh) Should the state government consider race and gender in state government contracting and hiring decisions?
Yesi) Do you support affirmative action in public college admissions?
Yesj) Should Pennsylvania continue affirmative action programs?
Yesk) Do you support state funding of stem cell research?
Yesl) Do you support state funding of embryonic stem cell research?
Nom) Do you support allowing pharmacists who conscientiously object to emergency contraception to refuse to dispense it?
n) Other or expanded principles

Anyone in a public school is at liberty to pray. I would oppose an institutionally mandated common prayer.

Legislative Priorities
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.

The top priorities facing us are health care, fair and equitable taxes, renewable energy, restoring local control, preserving open space, and quality public schools.
Hardworking people cannot afford health care. Anyone reading this knows relatives or friends, even ones with coverage, unable or struggling to pay for health care. Federal and state government must find common ground and work toward reducing administrative costs, encouraging preventative medicine, and assuring access to all citizens.
A comprehensive energy policy to develop renewable energy would provide jobs, preserve our environment, and reduce our dependence on often hostile foreign governments.

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