Michigan State Legislative Election 2012 Political Courage Test
|Pro-life||a) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?|
|No||b) Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?|
|Yes||c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?|
|Yes||d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?|
|Yes||e) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?|
|Yes||f) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?|
|Yes||g) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?|
|No||h) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?|
|Yes||i) Do you support increased licensing restrictions for abortion providers?|
|j) Other or expanded principles:|
I am against abortion. However, banning abortion will not work; if someone wants an abortion, they will have one, be it legal or not. That is why we need to address the root causes of abortion. Many who have abortions feel they cannot afford to care for one, or that they are simply not ready for a child. We need to show people why they should choose life; coercing them to do so will not work. We also need to tackle poverty and economic inequality, which contribute to so many abortions.
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.
|Greatly Increase||a) Education (higher)|
|Slightly Increase||b) Education (K-12)|
|Greatly Increase||c) Environment|
|Maintain Status||d) Health care|
|Slightly Decrease||e) Law enforcement/corrections|
|Slightly Increase||f) Transportation/infrastructure|
|Slightly Increase||g) Welfare|
|h) Other or expanded categories:|
Michigan spends nearly $2 billion on corrections - more than $45,000 per prisoner, and significantly more than we spend on higher education. Many prisoners are nonviolent offenders whose release from prison would pose no threat to public safety. Locking them up isn't solving any problems; it is only wasting our tax dollars. Instead, we need to enact more cost-effective penalties for nonviolent crimes, such as fines and community service. We must also keep people from going to prison in the first place by focusing on crime prevention and ensuring access to educational and employment opportunities.
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 may use a number more than once.
|Slightly Increase||a) Alcohol taxes|
|Slightly Increase||b) Cigarette taxes|
|Slightly Increase||c) Corporate taxes|
|Maintain Status||d) Gas/Oil taxes|
|Maintain Status||e) Property taxes|
|Slightly Decrease||f) Sales taxes|
|Slightly Decrease||g) Income taxes (low-income families)|
|Slightly Decrease||h) Income taxes (mid-income families)|
|Slightly Increase||i) Income taxes (high-income families)|
|No||j) Do you support requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature in order to approve all future tax increases?|
|k) Other or expanded categories:|
Lansing politicians have punished the poor, parents, retirees, and those who give to charity by robbing them of important tax credits and deductions. We need to restore these tax credits and deductions to ensure that middle-class families are able to make ends meet and create higher demand for products and services. Trickle-down economics has failed us, which is why we must stop giving tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals. We also need to amend the state constitution to allow a graduated income tax, by which the state can tax lower-income individuals and families at lower rates.
3) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Michigan's budget.
|Yes||a) Tapping into Michigan's "rainy day" fund|
|No||b) Increasing tuition rates at public universities|
|No||c) Reducing or eliminating public worker collective bargaining|
|No||d) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions|
|No||e) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees|
|No||f) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients|
|g) Other or expanded principles:|
We need to stop balancing the budget on the backs of ordinary Michigan families. As our state's needs change, we need to constantly re-evaluate how every dollar is spent. In order to balance the budget, we need to make additional cuts and reforms - including reforming our bloated corrections budget - but we must avoid making the kinds of cuts that have resulted in thousands of jobs being lost in the past couple years. Furthermore, we need to amend the state constitution to allow for a graduated income tax.
a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
|Yes||2) Political Action Committee|
|Yes||4) Political Party|
|Yes||b) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?|
|Yes||c) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?|
|Yes||d) Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?|
|No||e) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?|
|No||f) Do you support Michigan's emergency manager law?|
|g) Other or expanded principles:|
We need to change or eliminate our current term-limits law. Term limits have hurt our state. Instead of having lawmakers who understand how to get things done, term limits have brought us more partisanship and special-interest influence. We have tried term limits; they have not worked. It is time to move on.
|No||a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?|
|Yes||b) Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?|
|Yes||c) Do you support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?|
|Yes||d) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?|
|Yes||e) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?|
|Yes||f) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?|
|g) Other or expanded principles:|
With crime, just as with health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Discussion of public safety in Michigan too often focuses on how to punish criminals. Instead, we need to prevent people from committing crimes in the first place. Extracurricular and after-school activities help keep young people out of trouble. We must ensure that those who are old enough to work are able to find work instead of resorting to crime. We must remember that if people do not have the motive to commit a crime, they won't commit a crime.
|No||a) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?|
|Yes||b) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?|
|Yes||c) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?|
|Yes||d) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?|
|Yes||e) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?|
|Yes||f) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?|
|Yes||g) Do you support a constitutional amendment affirming a right to collective bargaining in Michigan?|
|Yes||h) Do you support construction of a new bridge across the Detroit River to Canada?|
|Yes||i) Should Michigan allow more casinos?|
|j) Other or expanded principles:|
Raising the minimum wage would benefit our economy in many ways. When working-class families have more money in their pockets, they are able to buy more products and services, thus increasing demand - and when demand increases, jobs are created. With rising costs and stagnant wages, many people are forced to take second or even third jobs in order to make ends meet. This causes more demand for fewer jobs - and with it, higher unemployment. Raising the minimum wage will reduce the need for people to take another job.
|Yes||a) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?|
|No||b) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?|
|Yes||c) Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?|
|No||d) Do you support replacing pension plans for new teachers with 401(k)-style retirement plans?|
|No||e) Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?|
|No||f) Do you support state funding for charter schools?|
|Yes||g) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?|
|No||h) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Michigan high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?|
|i) Other or expanded principles:|
It is critical that we close the achievement gap between lower-class students and middle-class students. I was blessed to attend Kentwood Public Schools, where high expectations and academic achievement were the norm. Unfortunately, due to funding and other issues, most students aren't so lucky. No child's education should suffer because of their race or socioeconomic status. Every child deserves well-trained teachers, safe schools, and extracurricular opportunities. Every teacher deserves to have the tools to do their jobs well and to inspire our future doctors, authors, and leaders.
|Yes||a) Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?|
|No||b) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?|
|Yes||c) Do you support state funding for improvements to Michigan's energy infrastructure?|
|Yes||d) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?|
|Yes||e) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?|
|f) Other or expanded principles:|
In this era of volatile energy prices, energy efficiency is a must. That is why I support the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs ballot initiative, which will put Michigan on a more sustainable path. The proposal will also help create nearly 100,000 jobs and save consumers money. Beyond energy efficiency, protecting our rich land and water resources must also be a priority; our health and our economy depend on it.
|Yes||a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?|
|Yes||b) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?|
|Yes||c) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?|
|Yes||d) Should a license be required for gun possession?|
|e) Other or expanded principles:|
The Second Amendment is the Second Amendment. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens; we must protect their rights while doing more to ensure that dangerous weapons don't fall into the wrong hands.
|Yes||a) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?|
|Yes||b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?|
|Yes||c) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?|
|No||d) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?|
|Yes||e) Do you support establishing a state-run health insurance exchange?|
|No||f) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?|
|Yes||g) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?|
|h) Other or expanded principles:|
Prevention needs to be at the center of our efforts to curb health care costs. All citizens should be able to have access to quality nutrition and exercise. The state can and should encourage healthy lifestyle choices, from providing nutritious meals and physical education in schools to discouraging harmful activities such as smoking.
|No||a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?|
|Yes||b) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?|
|Yes||c) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Michigan's anti-discrimination laws?|
|Yes||d) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Michigan's anti-discrimination laws?|
|e) Other or expanded principles:|
When Sally Ride passed away this summer, her companion of nearly 30 years received no federal death benefits. Why? Because they were a same-sex couple, not a heterosexual married couple. Love is love, and not every human being is attracted to the opposite gender. It is time that our laws reflected this. That said, I also believe that we should protect the rights of churches and other religious organizations who do not believe in same-sex marriage and who wish not to marry same-sex couples.
|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 for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.|
1. Jobs. When middle-class families have more money, they spend it. This creates demand, which creates jobs.
2. We have seen unprecedented attacks on our very freedoms, from the freedom to choose our own elected officials to the right to collectively bargain. Government is meant to protect freedom, not attack it.
3. Equality. Everybody deserves a chance to succeed. Every child deserves the same quality education I had in Kentwood. Every woman deserves the same rights as every man. Let's live up to those words in our Pledge: "liberty and justice for all."