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Timothy Swiney

Timothy Swiney's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Timothy Swiney
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for State Senate - District 9
General Nov. 4, 2014
Primary May 20, 2014
Gender: Male
Family: Partnered; 2 Children: Eva, Ignacio
Birth Place: Virginia
Home City: Lawrenceville, GA
Religion: Catholic
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What is the Political Courage Test?

Georgia State Legislative Election 2012 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.

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?
Yese) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesf) 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:

As a Christian/Catholic I do not encourage or condone abortions. However, the last place this decision should be made is with ambitious politicians and radical special interest groups. This decision should be left as a private healthcare issue to be decided by each individual in consultation with their partner, family, physician, and priest/minister.

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.
Maintain Statusa) Education (higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increasec) Environment
Greatly Increased) Health care
Slightly Increasee) Law enforcement/corrections
Maintain Statusf) Transportation/infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
Greatly Increaseh) Other or expanded categories:

As a long term foster parent, I know first hand that the state has neglected the welfare of children in DFCS care. We need to significantly increase funding to the Child Protective Services, Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), and Foster Care programs throughout our state. These children are the most vulnerable in our society and have the greatest needs, but they are forgotten by our state government and no one advocates for them.

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 can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increasec) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gas/Oil taxes
Eliminatee) Property taxes
Slightly Increasef) Sales taxes
Eliminateg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Eliminateh) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Eliminatei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasej) Other or expanded categories:

I support the elimination of the state income tax and having residential owner-occupied property exempted from property taxes. Seven states have eliminated the income tax, including our neighbors Tennessee and Florida. All of these states have been more successful are budgeting than Georgia. We should end the practice of taxing productivity and start taxing consumption. Under this plan all residents, whether legal or illegal, documented or undocumented, will carry their fair share of the tax burden.

3) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Georgia's budget.
Yesa) Tapping into Georgia's "rainy day" fund
Nob) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Yesc) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
Yesd) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
Noe) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
f) Other or expanded principles:

A major step in balancing the budget is to decrease the level of spending. Just like every American tightens their belt and shops for bargains, so should government. We need to perform intense audits at every level of government and in every department to insure that they are operating in a cost effective manor. State officials do not need to be buying the proverbial $100 hammer or the $20 roll of toilet paper. Another big step in balancing the budget is to eliminate the tax loopholes that are specifically given to the wealthy and large corporations.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) 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?
Yese) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
f) Other or expanded principles:

There is a long history in our state of large numbers of dead people showing up at the polls and voting. It is unfortunate but we need to insure that the person who shows up to vote is the actual qualified voter. State issued voter ID's and driver's licenses are easy to come buy so I do not believe it is unreasonable to ask for a photo ID. One troubling issue however is that in some areas, voter identification is used as a means to disqualify minorities and/or targeted groups of voters.

Yesa) 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 decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
Yesd) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
Noe) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Yesf) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
g) Other or expanded principles:

Regarding the enforcement of federal immigration laws: The federal government does not have the manpower to police every city, in every county, in every state in the nation. Until immigration laws are changed, we must enforce the laws as they are written. I believe there is a major concern that in many areas of the country, especially in southern states, that the immigration debate is a proxy for racism against Latino/Hispanic people. We need to make certain that we do not allow immigration enforcement to be used as a instrument for racial discrimination against any group.

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 increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
Nof) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Yesg) Do you support an effort to deepen the Savannah harbor?
Yesh) Do you support public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects?
i) Other or expanded principles:

It's very frustrating how the Republicans want to deregulate corporations and big business and leave the consumers to the mercy of "buyer beware". It is a fact of life that many corporations will and do sacrifice to the public safety for profit. It is perfectly evident that many corporations are willing to dump tons of pollution into our air and water systems risking the public health in order to expand profits. We cannot deregulate the "private sector" because self-policing does not work. We are supposed to have a government by and for the people, not for big business.

Yesa) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
Yesb) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
Noc) 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?
Yese) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Nof) Do you support a statewide charter commission with the power to approve applications for charter school status that are denied by local school disctricts?
Yesg) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Noh) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Georgia high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
Yesi) Do you support efforts to merge several of Georgia's state colleges and universities?
j) Other or expanded principles:

Education should be one of our top priorities. I support charter schools as not-for-profit alternatives to public education, but I do not support for-profit charter schools. I support state funding of charter schools however I strongly believe in the separation of church and state so I object to funding of charter schools that are ran by religious organizations. I support the use of vouches as long as it does not lead to funneling of public tax dollars to religious institutions and especially not to for-profit programs.

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 Georgia's energy infrastructure?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yese) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
f) Other or expanded principles:

"Climate Change" and "global warning" are the subject of a lot of debate. But the fact is that what we are talking about is old fashioned pollution; bad air, contaminated water, and contaminated soil. It doesn't matter if its warming the earth or cooling it when you treat pollution for what it is, the problem will be solved.

We need to fund and pursue renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources. Fossil fuels are limited and makes us reliable on countries who are not our friends. We must gain energy independence.

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

I believe that under the existing constitution that gun laws and restrictions on their of sale and carriage are unconstitutional. However, when the constitution was written the term "arms" meant small single shot weapons. Today, "Arms" can mean anything from a machine gun with armor piercing bullets to shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles. I believe it is time we consider amending the US Constitution to reflect current weapon technology. As long as the 2nd Amendment is in place, I cannot support any restrictions on the carrying and possession of guns.

Yesa) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yesc) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Nod) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Noe) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yesf) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
g) Other or expanded principles:

One of the basic duties of a Christian society is to care for the sick. In Matthew 25: 31-46 Jesus specifically tells us about our responsibilities to our fellow man in order to obtain salvation. One of the primary requirements that Christ placed on us was to care for the sick. So it amazes me how Republican and Christian conservatives can claim moral superiority while refusing to obey the teachings of Christ himself. Our duty as a nation is to provide the best healthcare available to every citizen regardless of their ability to pay.

Noa) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
Yesc) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Georgia anti-discrimination laws?
Yesd) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Georgia anti-discrimination laws?
e) Other or expanded principles:

It is a disgrace that we have a society in which minorities have to have special legislation guaranteeing their constitutional rights. The preamble to the US Constitution says "We the People". It would be a safe assumption that "We" would include everybody and not exclude any of the people.

I would also include in these social issues the right of single parent and co-parent adoptions. The right to adopt, and be adopted, is not a gay rights issue but a children's rights issue.

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 or implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

Of course the primary concern for Georgia is the economy. Our state is ranked dead last in the financial security of our residents. At the same time we're ranked one of the top states for our business environment. That clearly shows who is being represented in our state legislature and it's not the people, but big business.
A major issue is also the proposed "Personhood Amendment". This is a horrible attack on personal liberties. This amendment forcex rape victims to carry their attackers baby, outlaws many forms of birth control, and even bans living wills.

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