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Colleen Hanabusa's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Colleen Hanabusa has demonstrated Political Courage by telling citizens where she stands on the issues she may face if elected.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Hawaii Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage Test


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.

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan?
YesDo you support a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan?
Other or expanded principles

I stand firmly behind the men and women of our armed services, and think that a safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops should happen as quickly as possible.

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing the federal budget.
In order to balance the budget,
YesCandidate Answerdo you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate Answerdo you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Nodo you support reducing Medicaid spending?
Nodo you support reducing Medicare spending?
YesIs balancing the budget a legislative priority?
Other or expanded principles

There are multiple efficiency initiatives and program cuts identified by former Defense Secretary Gates and current Secretary Panetta that should be seriously vetted and if found not to compromise the nation's security should be implemented. These initiatives will reduce excess overhead, operations expenses, and personnel costs across the defense enterprise, and achieve better buying power in our acquisition of systems and services. If done responsibly, I believe that we can protect the all-volunteer force and continue to provide a strong national defense of the United States.

YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I am cosponsor and advocate for the passage of the DISCLOSE Act, as we must address the unregulated campaign funds that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision unleashed.

NoDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles

I believe there is always a chance for rehabilitation of persons that have been convicted of crimes; others who cannot benefit from rehabilitation are usually mentally disabled, and to kill them is not a humane option to increasing public safety.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support the temporary extension of unemployment benefits?
NoDo you support the 2010 temporary extension of tax relief?
Other or expanded principles

Investment in our nation's transportation infrastructure, including construction of roads, bridges and transit programs creates good paying jobs for Americans. Additionally, with energy prices soaring we must spur development in clean, renewable energy programs and that is why I am a strong supporter of loan guarantees and tax credits to spur research and development of next generation energy solutions.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles

Failures of "No Child Left Behind" have already demonstrated what happens when the federal government attempts to impart a one-size-fits-all approach to the country's school system. I order to address these issues, I support having states taking the initiative to develop educational reforms that will best serve the unique needs of each of their students in order to receive competitive federal grants.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Other or expanded principles

Hawaii's unique climate and environment creates an opportunity for the state to lead the nation and the world in research and development of new energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal and hydro. Capitalizing on our islands' potential as a green energy hub is an imperative as our current reliance on petroleum is unsustainable.

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

As an island state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, climate change, sea-level rise and ocean acidification have direct and dire impacts on our daily lives. Our islands are blessed with some of the most diverse ecosystems and endangered species on the planet and we must do what we can to protect them. This includes being vigilant in monitoring and stopping the spread of invasive species that can wreak havoc on our environment.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Other or expanded principles

I support the rights of states to establish registration requirements, waiting periods, and carry laws. The United States Constitution explicitly prohibits an outright ban on firearms.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
YesShould individuals be required to purchase health insurance, as mandated in the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles

The Affordable Care Act addresses much-needed changes in our health care system. Since enactment, 17 million children with pre-existing conditions now have health insurance, 54 million Americans are now receiving free preventative care services, and 105 million Americans no longer have to deal with lifetime caps. The law was intentionally designed to require all individuals to purchase health insurance in order to support all insurance applicants, as health insurance companies depend on mass participation to maintain a balanced risk pool.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
YesDo you support allowing illegal immigrants, who were brought to the United States as minors, to pursue citizenship without returning to their country of origin?
NoDo you support the enforcement of federal immigration law by state and local police?
Other or expanded principles

While I think that the immigration process in America needs to be improved, I believe the United States has always drawn upon its diversity as a source of moral strength and intellectual vigor. In the case of children brought to the United States and raised and educated here, I find it difficult to punish them for their parents' choices just as they achieve adulthood and start to become prosperous in our society. This is why I have co-sponsored the DREAM Act and support President Obama's new directive for immigration enforcement.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

I have always believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. However, I have argued forcefully and consistently for the rights of all Americans. I am proud of the work I did to help write and first pass Hawaii's civil unions law, my support of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and my co-sponsorship of the Respect for Marriage Act. If court rulings or legislative acts grant same-sex partners the right to marry, nationally or in the state of Hawaii, I will fully support those decisions.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations
  • Chad Blair. Honolulu Civil Beat: Djou and Hanabusa On The Issues. 19 July 2012. “Unmanned aerial vehicles have given our military a means to respond to threats and carry out military missions without placing our forces in harms way. They allow us to pursue legitimate security goals without endangering the lives of the men and women who serve in our military. Drones have also demonstrated their value in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles. The individual you refer to, Anwar al-Awlaki, was a senior member of al-Qaeda who had repeatedly called for jihad against the United States, and helped plan the group's attacks. By his own words and actions, he was an enemy combatant who sought to kill Americans. He made himself a military target, and was killed in a military operation.” (
  • Colleen Hanabusa. Colleen Hanabusa Answers 10 Questions From Civil Beat. 24 September 2010. “Whether or not the government uses drones away from the battlefield is dependent on the rules of engagement. The use of the word “battlefield” indicates that we are at war, and there is an underlying assumption that there is a reason for the war, a defined scope of the war, and authorization defining the war from Congress.” (
  • Colleen Hanabusa. Hanabusa on U.S. Drone Missions. 21 December 2011. “I think the decision on using drones and when it’s appropriate is purely a military decision. Whether or not it’s something that we should expend monies to develop, what we are going to weigh is the use of the drones versus human life. As long as we are sending our men and women in uniform to the front, if a drone can make it safer for them, I would not necessarily object to that.” (
  • Colleen Hanabusa. Issue Position: National Security. 16 September 2011. “Training, education, research and development are integral to the military's role in the world, and the Defense Department can help define the United States for the rest of the world as a leader in human innovation. We must be proactive, rather than reactive, when we think of how best to structure our military and national defense. To properly defend is also to ensure that we have the best up-to-date information to deter any attacks, such as a nuclear or biological assault. It is to peacefully hold other nations in check by showing that the U.S. cannot be leveraged into anything by a simple show of force. We must continue to educate, train and care for our armed forces and their families. They are our defenders and they are the ones who carry America's image and values abroad. They must be a ready force and well-supplied so our allies remain confident and our enemies remain wary and respectful.” (
YesShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

Our government must continue to counter Iran's nuclear program through diplomatic means. I believe that Iran's efforts to acquire and develop nuclear weapons pose a direct threat to the stability of the Middle East. By strengthening sanctions and our efforts to deter these programs, we promote outcomes that are in the best interests of the United States and our allies. Should all diplomatic means be exhausted, the United States should explore other ways to halt this program, including military action if we are sure they possess a nuclear weapon.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

Social Security is the ultimate retirement system, and in order for it to survive, we need the participation of all individuals. I believe that permitting exceptions to this rule would risk the already-fragile solvency of the Social Security trust fund.

Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Maintain Statusc) Defense
Slightly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Slightly Increasef) Homeland Security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical Research
Slightly Increasei) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Slightly Increasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
Slightly Increasea) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusc) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Maintain Statusd) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Slightly Increasee) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusj) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories
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.
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