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Kenneth 'Ken' John O'Brien

Ken O'Brien's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Kenneth 'Ken' John O'Brien
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Maura; 2 Children: Jonathan, Patrick
Birth Date: 01/13/1964
Birth Place: Rochester, NY
Home City: Holden, MA
Religion: Catholic
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What is the Political Courage Test?

Massachusetts State Legislative Election 2010 Political Courage Test

Pro-choicea) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Yesb) Should abortion be legal only within 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?
f) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesg) Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Noh) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
i) Other or expanded principles

There are bills pending in the legislature about parental notification and I have not taken positions on these at this time

1) State Spending
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.
a) Education (higher)
b) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increasec) Environment
Slightly Decreased) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusf) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories

a) 1-2
b) 1-2

2) State Taxes
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
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasee) Property taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statush) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Greatly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
j) Other or expanded categories
3) Budget Stabilization
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Massachusetts' budget.
Yesa) Tapping into Massachusetts' "rainy day" fund
b) Issuing the early release of certain non-violent offenders
Noc) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Nod) Instituting mandatory furloughs and layoffs for state employees
e) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
f) Privatizing certain government services
g) Other or expanded principles

b) e) f) Maybe

reduce spending across the board to balance budget, seek additional federal assistance, have to invest in developing more public/private partnerships

Yesa) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Massachusetts governors?
Yesb) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Massachusetts state legislators?
c) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions to candidates for state government?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Party
Yesd) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yese) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
f) Other or expanded principles

I will support a "no rollover provision" which would require all candidates to start a "0" at the start of each election

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) Should the possession of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized?
d) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
e) 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

d) maybe
e) maybe

I am a supporter of capital punishment in cases of disregard for murder of prosecutors/police/prison guards. Prosecuting minors as adults must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

a) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesb) Do you support the expansion of state-regulated gaming?
Yesc) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Nod) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Yese) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Yesf) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
g) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
h) Other or expanded principles

g) I believe the state should do more to force banks to restructure loans
d) I think unemployment benefits are widely available now but would consider any legislation that addresses real problems of access by those who need it.
a) I think timely review/devision of regulations is appropriate. I for more post audit oversight to ensure regulatory measures are not redundant or unfair.

Noa) Do you support national education standards?
Yesb) Do you support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams?
Noc) Do you support using a merit pay system for teachers?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yese) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Nof) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Massachusetts high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
g) Other or expanded principles

I believe we must create seperate funding stream for charter schools. I believe we must revisit National education standards in the future to ensure they do not dilute ours. I think we need to modify testing, merit pay can be entertained in some settings as incentive to attract teachers to failing school settings

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)?
c) Do you support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops?
Nod) Do you support state funding for improvements to Massachusetts' energy infrastructure?
e) Should municipalities be allowed to take control of their electric infrastructure through the use of eminent domain?
Yesf) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yesg) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
h) Other or expanded principles

c) maybe
e) maybe - I support coming down hard on companies like unitel and do support, in limited cases, the ability of municipalities to take over power infrastructure

I fully support efforts to preserve critical habitat for water protection, greenways, corridors, and I would work to modify impacts of cap and trade legislation on wood/pellet business

Yesa) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you support requiring background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesc) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Do you support requiring a license for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles

I am not for expanding regulations on guns. Guns coming into our state illegally are a problem - that is not a state issue though.

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?
Yesd) Should individuals be required to purchase health care insurance?
Yese) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Nof) Do you support legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts?
Nog) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles

I do not understand clearly the concept of interstate compacts but health care premium increases demand we investigate all avenues of cost control.

Noa) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Should Massachusetts continue to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
Yesc) Do you support state funding for stem cell research?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Yese) Do you support the state's use of affirmative action?
Yesf) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Massachusetts' anti-discrimination laws?
Yesg) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Massachusetts' anti-discrimination laws?
h) Other or expanded principles

I believe the principle of equal protection should guide the law. I support this in relation to all issues surrounding equal protection.

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.

1) Job creation - strong regulatory measures must be implemented to control premium increases for health care for the private + public sector. I support expanding access to GIC. I support expanding access to capital by establishment of loan pools of private capital to make small business loans
2) Clean energy initiatives. I am for

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