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Leslie Coolidge's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Leslie Coolidge refused to tell citizens where she 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?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2012, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Women's Political Caucus. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. National Women's Political Caucus endorsed Leslie Coolidge in the 2012 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Wheaton Patch: Election 2012: Leslie Coolidge. 13 October 2012. "Decisions on these matters should be made by the individuals involved, without government interference. I don't understand how Republicans want to remove government from every aspect of our lives except our bedrooms. Abortions should be safe, legal and extremely rare and the decision to have one should be between the woman and her doctor. And I believe that marriage is an institution that stabilizes relationships and should be encouraged. No church, of course, should be required to perform a same-sex marriage, but why deny anyone a chance at lasting happiness through civil marriage?" (wheaton.patch.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. On The Issues. Access 27 September 2012. "Our current Congress is determined to roll back the clock on women's health care and reproductive freedom. It is amazing that people who decry big government see nothing wrong with government coming between a woman and her doctor when it comes to the most important decision about her body. Denying women insurance coverage for reproductive health and restricting the decisions they can make about their own health care is just plain wrong." (www.coolidgeforcongress.com)
No Inferred Answer Afghanistan: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "The next mission in Afghanistan should be to support the Afghani people as they determine their own future, as well as to keep the Taliban and other terrorists in Pakistan in check. This can be accomplished better, I believe, by not actually having fighting forces on the ground there. The proper approach to intervention in world affairs today, is to involve other countries in our missions, especially those that have greater interests to protect in the region where the problem is occurring. Our consideration of what to do outside our shores must always include a calculation of the costs to our country in lives and dollars, as well as what we hope to accomplish" to the question: "What role should the U.S. play in world affairs? In essence: Tell us your foreign policy. Specifically, what should the U.S. mission be in Afghanistan?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "We do need to look at cutting spending wherever we can because there is still waste in government spending. For instance, now that the war in Iraq is over, spending on military contractors should drop precipitously" to the question: "Specify what spending you want to cut and/or what revenues you want to increase." (elections.chicagotribune.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. WTTW: 2012 Election Q&A. Responded "We should also reduce the military budget, particularly for private contractors, now that we have withdrawn from Iraq and will soon be out of Afghanistan. Of course, this will also cost jobs, so even these cuts should be done cautiously in a weak economy" to the question: "Should the government cut spending and where?" (chicagotonight.wttw.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "The cuts should end for the wealthy, however, since it has been shown they save the tax savings which does not help the economy. According to the Center for American Progress, using CBO figures, this provision alone will cost the treasury almost $900 billion over ten years. Congress can also raise taxes on people who are not paying nearly enough, such as private equity firm employees who can treat their income as capital gains, costing an estimated $100 billion in lost revenues" to the question: "Should Congress rewrite the U.S. tax code? If so, what would your priorities be?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Issues. 10 February 2012. "Surveys show that the majority of wealthy people are ready to pay more in taxes if it serves to get our economy moving again, which is good for everyone. Specifically, tax cuts for those earning a million dollars or more each year should be eliminated. It is only fair." (coolidgeforcongress.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "My understanding of economics leads me to believe that we should not focus much energy on deficit reduction while the economy is still weak, businesses still lack confidence to invest in expansion, and too many people are still without jobs. In fact, as the economy grows stronger, the deficit will automatically become less of a problem as millions more people pay taxes on earnings from new jobs or better jobs. We do need to look at cutting spending wherever we can because there is still waste in government spending" to the question: "The federal government has more than $15 trillion in debt and it ran a $1.3 trillion budget deficit in 2011. Congress has not reached agreement on how to balance federal spending. What share of deficit reduction do you believe should come from spending cuts and what share from revenue increases?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. On the Issues. 9 September 2012. "Too many of our roads, bridges and schools are old and crumbling. We can put America back to work by making repairing them a priority. More people working means more money being spent at American's businesses, which will then need to hire more people to keep up with demand. It's simple economics: more money in the economy means more demand for America's products and services and more jobs for American workers." (www.coolidgeforcongress.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. WTTW: Election 2012 Q&A. Responded "I would also propose giving businesses incentives to create jobs, such as generous tax credits for the salaries of first-year employees. I also believe the R&D (research and development) tax credit should be made permanent to spur American companies like these to develop new technologies" to the question: "How would you promote job growth in your district?" (chicagotonight.wttw.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "Specifically, we should continue or even create tax breaks for small business owners, but only in the form of credits for creating actual jobs. Business incentives for creating jobs could include generous tax credits for the salaries of first-year employees in front-line, manufacturing, and white-collar jobs" to the question: "Identify three specific actions you would support to foster private-sector job creation." (elections.chicagotribune.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Issues. 10 February 2012. "She believes that targeted incentives (not tax breaks) are what is needed to help businesses create jobs and encourage banks to lend. Otherwise, financial capital will continue to sit on the sidelines waiting for more favorable conditions, while the American middle class waits for the economy to produce more jobs. Without incentives, it could be a long wait for mortgage relief." (coolidgeforcongress.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "The problem with Race to the Top is that it is still test-based. Its ultimate goal is to implement a standardized national test to evaluate student performance" to the question: "What role should the federal government play in public education? Do you favor or oppose the Obama administration's Race To The Top program?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "Historically, the Federal government has served to fill gaps in State and local support for education when necessary to ensure that students' needs are met with well-qualified teachers and to give teachers the tools they need to deliver quality education. In today's environment, such gaps still exist and would be appropriately funded by the federal government in such areas as improving educational facilities, investing in technology, and providing for additional staffing and teacher education" to the question: "What role should the federal government play in public education? Do you favor or oppose the Obama administration's Race To The Top program?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Issues. 10 February 2012. "Because our inventiveness has supported American prosperity for more than a century, we cannot continue to allow Congress to starve the American education system. Congress has a role to play in supporting education in America, in cooperation with local school systems." (coolidgeforcongress.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Energy: Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Marni Pyke. The Daily Herald:6th District Dems take Congress to task. 3 February 2012. "Coolidge said she was apprehensive about the administration allowing more offshore drilling. 'I'm very concerned about offshore drilling,' she said. 'We need a comprehensive energy policy that's very focused on new green technologies. That's both the right answer for the energy industry and it would do a lot to restore the economy and create jobs.'" (www.dailyherald.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Video: Leslie Coolidge Personal Statement. 1 February 2012. "We should be encouraging nation industries, such as those related to clean energy and repeal subsidies for the oil and gas industries because the encourage the use of fossil fuel, when we should be investing in future energies." (www.youtube.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Issues. 10 February 2012. "We need to invest in environmentally-sound solutions so that our water, air and climate do not continue to deteriorate. Our children and grandchildren deserve to grow up in a world where the adults are working on sustainable ways of producing the prosperity we all envision for our future." (coolidgeforcongress.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "We cannot drill our way to energy independence because the U.S. simply has too little readily-accessible oil to meet our needs. Extracting shale oil (fracking) should not be allowed because of potentially devastating damage to underground water resources. So the solution has to depend on energy conservation and giving incentives to businesses and consumers to use less fossil fuel. By reducing our usage, we reduce our dependence on foreign oil as well as our drive to drill or frack in environmentally-sensitive areas of the United States like ANWAR, which I oppose" to the question: "What are your priorities for U.S. energy production and conservation? How can the U.S. reduce its reliance on foreign oil? Do you favor or oppose expanded domestic drilling for oil, shale oil and natural gas?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Abclocal.go.com: Leslie Coolidge, Candidate for Congress (6th District). 13 October 2012. "Yes, climate change is real and it is man-made, according to the vast majority of climate scientists. It is also getting worse. The U.S., along with China and other big polluters, should be leading partners in global agreements to reduce greenhouse gases. There are also several viable solutions that Congress can help implement which will go a long way toward solving this problem. The most realistic solution is the market-based one almost implemented by Congress a few years ago: cap-and-trade. This has the great advantage of giving industry incentives to reduce overall emissions, which is a big step in the right direction since industrial emissions are a greater source of greenhouse gases than cars." (abclocal.go.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. Leslie Coolidge, Democratic Congressional Canidate Visits Clarendon Hills. 03 October 2012. "If there were any one thing that I could personally promote in Congress, I think we absolutely have to deal with climate change. Climate change is real; it is caused by human activity. ... There's so much going on in this antiregulatory environment, that we need to be holding up the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, which we've had for 30 or 40 years now. It's just appalling that we're still fighting those types of issues." (stcharles-il.patch.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. 2012 Candidate Profile. 09 October 2012. Responded "I am not against guns. As an environmentalist, I find that my interests and those of hunters are often aligned. However, I am against concealed carry, as are many in law enforcement in Illinois, because it puts deadly force in the hands of those who may be inadequately trained to handle split second judgments in life-or-death situations. There is no guarantee, either, that private citizens with guns are not impaired when they try to use their guns." to the question: "What is your position on concealed carry gun laws'" (www.dailyherald.com)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "I do not favor repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unless it is replaced by something that contained a public option and covered more uninsured people. The main change I would support to the current bill would be a provision that brought it into full force earlier than 2014. I believe that once people experience the benefits of the Act, most of them will support it" to the question: "Do you favor repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010? What changes, if any, would you support in the health care law?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. WTTW: 2012 Election Q&A. Responded "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a first step in the right direction that I believe people will probably come to favor as it is fully implemented, just as they did Social Security and Medicare. I do believe we need some adjustments to the Act to better control costs of medical care to reduce the overall cost of the program" to the question: "What are your thoughts on the healthcare law?" (chicagotonight.wttw.com)
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "So, in addition to enforcement, we need to focus on finding a path to legal status for hardworking people with jobs who are already here, people who would prefer to be paying taxes and buying homes, who contribute to our society and help our economy stay afloat. They account for the vast majority of those here illegally. Unfortunately, there is not really a path to legal immigration for many of the workers in our economy. I think we can get a better handle on immigration by bringing illegals out of the shadows with a path to legal residency. I am very interested in working on this issue once we get our economy moving again. A good place to start would be to come up with a new visa system to allow people to enter the country without cheating, along the lines of the H-2A agricultural visa program that allows employers to recruit immigrants for back-breaking planting and harvesting jobs that citizens don't want" to the question: "How should the U.S. government reform its immigration system, and how should it treat the 12 million immigrants who are here illegally? Please be specific." (elections.chicagotribune.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Wheaton Patch: Election 2012: Leslie Coolidge. 13 October 2012. "Decisions on these matters should be made by the individuals involved, without government interference. I don't understand how Republicans want to remove government from every aspect of our lives except our bedrooms. Abortions should be safe, legal and extremely rare and the decision to have one should be between the woman and her doctor. And I believe that marriage is an institution that stabilizes relationships and should be encouraged. No church, of course, should be required to perform a same-sex marriage, but why deny anyone a chance at lasting happiness through civil marriage?" (wheaton.patch.com)
  • Leslie Coolidge. WTTW: 2012 Election Q&A. Responded "Family values mean something very different to me than to Republicans.  To Republicans, it seems to mean requiring government to define good and bad family configurations and behaviors. To me, family values are ideals of good behavior that strong families can pass on to children" to the question: "How do you define family values?" (chicagotonight.wttw.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Leslie Coolidge. Chicago Tribune: 2012 Editorial board questionnaire. Responded "Many years of solvency will also be added by raising the retirement age by just one year (to 68) over the next 40 years. I would be very deliberate about changes to the benefit formula. Some proposals have come before Congress to amend the benefit formula to make it less generous to high-wage earners. However, according to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the proposed changes affect all workers and reduce benefits for workers earning as little as $11,000 per year. Any changes must be fair to recipients, both current and future, and reflect the amount of money they put into the system when they were working" to the question: "How would you change revenues or benefits to keep the system financial solvent? Specifically, would you raise the Social Security payroll tax on employers and employees? Would you raise the retirement age? Would you change the benefit formula?" (elections.chicagotribune.com)

Key

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.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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