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Steven Pestka's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Steven Pestka refused to tell citizens where he 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

  • Steven Pestka. Issue Position: Standing up for women's healthcare. 12 July 2012. "An alarming trend has developed in Washington with attacks on critical health care services for women, such as screenings for breast and cervical cancer, access to contraception and maternity leave. Steve Pestka will never exploit anyone's health care for political purposes, and will fight every single day to make sure access to these critical women's health services is never jeopardized." (www.votepestka.com)
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2002 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 1998 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 1998 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "e) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Nate Reens. MLive: Steve Pestka defends record on abortion, women's health care rights after questions from challenger Trevor Thomas in U.S. House race. Published 4 May 2012. ""I am personally opposed to abortion and I would never counsel anyone to have an abortion," Pestka said. "I oppose late-term abortion, but at the end of the day, I don't support making abortion illegal." (www.mlive.com)
  • Nate Reens. MLive: Steve Pestka supporters to Trevor Thomas: Stop spreading lies. Publish 22 June 2012. "Pestka's campaign says that "fair" biographical information misrepresents his position that "he wants to make abortion illegal." Pestka has said he's personally opposed to abortion, but has no intention of legislating the issue." (www.mlive.com)
  • Steven Pestka. Ensuring access to quality healthcare. 12 July 2012. "Once again I want to make clear that I will never exploit or politicize health care issues “ particularly those important to women." (www.votepestka.com)
  • Steven Pestka. Prominent female voices speak out to support Pestka. 12 July 2012. "I also want to make clear that I will never exploit or politicize health care issues “ particularly those important to women." (www.votepestka.com)
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2002 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "f) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions."
  • Pro-Choice.
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 1998 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be legally available."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2002 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "b) Abortions should always be legally available."
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Afghanistan: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? 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 Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? 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 Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Steven Pestka. Issue Position: Making Government More Accountable and Balancing the Budget Responsibly. 1 January 2012. "We need to get the deficit in check, but we need to do it in a balanced way so that all taxpayers are treated fairly. Justin Amash, like too many others in Washington, thinks we should slash programs like Medicare, Social Security and education while also giving more tax breaks to special interests and millionaires. That is the wrong approach." (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Steven Pestka. Issue Position: Creating good jobs. 12 July 2012. "We need leaders in Washington who will embrace policies that support Michigan's employers and which lead to higher wages, better jobs, and a more educated and stronger workforce." http://www.votepestka.com/issues (www.votepestka.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Economy: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Steven Pestka. Issue Position: Creating good jobs. 12 July 2012. "We need leaders in Washington who will embrace policies that support Michigan's employers and which lead to higher wages, better jobs, and a more educated and stronger workforce." http://www.votepestka.com/issues (www.votepestka.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

  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2002 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Support national standards and testing of public school students."
  • Steven Pestka. Issue Position: A 21st Century education for 21st Century jobs. 12 July 2012. "Steve Pestka will make sure our schools have the resources they need so every student receives a quality education, and he will fight to ensure that working class West Michigan families can afford to send their children to college." (www.votepestka.com)
  • Steven Petska. MEA backs Steve Pestka as a ˜steadfast supporter' of public education. 8 May 2012. "Teaching should be one of our most respected professions," Pestka said. "But too often people in Congress blame teachers for every problem in education. In Washington I will work with not just with parents, school administrators, civic and business leaders, but also with teachers to improve our public schools and prepare our children for the future." (www.mlive.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Energy: Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? 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 Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Steven Pestka. Issue Position: Protecting the Great Lakes and Michigan's Way of Life. 12 July 2012. "Our natural resources need to be protected so generations to come can enjoy them as we have. As a state legislator, Steve Pestka consistently had a 100 percent voter rating from the League of Conservation Voters and he will continue to fight in Congress to protect the natural beauty that surrounds us." www.votepestka.com/issues
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 1998 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 1998 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2002 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "h) Require a license for gun possession."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2002 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows."
  • Steven Pestka. Project Vote Smart: 2002 Michigan State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting."
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? 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 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

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? 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 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.
No Inferred 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

  • Steven Pestka. "Ensuring access to quality healthcare. 9 July 2012. "For our seniors, I promise to protect Medicare and make sure that it is not subjected to any risky schemes. Representative Justin Amash has voted to end Medicare as we know it, which would lead to hardship and uncertainty at the very time our seniors should be enjoying their lifetimes of accomplishment." (www.votepestka.com)
  • Steven Pestka. Issue Position: Protecting Michigan's Seniors. 12 July 2012. "Our seniors spent their whole lives paying into Medicare and Social Security, but now some representatives in Congress like Justin Amash want to get rid of these vital programs. Steve Pestka will protect the promises we made to senior Americans and ensure that they are able to enjoy their golden years with a level of dignity and comfort." (www.votepestka.com)
  • Steven Pestka. Standing up for our seniors. 2 July 2012. "Amash has voted to cut Social Security and end Medicare as we know it, which would force seniors to pay $6,400 every year and buy insurance directly from the big insurance companies. So instead of being able to enjoy the rewards they have earned, Amash wants our seniors to have to worry. Instead of our seniors living their golden years comfortably with dignity, he supports making them struggle [¦] When you send me to Congress, I will work to protect and enhance Social Security and Medicare, not eliminate them. I will make sure we don't place the future of these programs into any risky schemes that would jeopardize what our seniors have worked so hard for." (www.votepestka.com)
  • Steven Pestka. "Protecting Social Security and Medicare." 6 July 2012. "Unfortunately, some in Washington continue to stubbornly insist that they are irreparably broken and need to be replaced. They push risky schemes that would put the programs in peril. In President Bush's second term, he pushed for a privatization of Social Security, and the public resoundingly rejected this approach, with good reason. The Wall Street collapse and subsequent recession would have devastated Social Security if we went down that path. We would have been left with millions of seniors worrying about their retirements after a lifetime of contributing to the system. My promise to our seniors is that when I am the Third Congressional District representative in Washington, I will work to ensure that these successful programs continue and are not subjected to any risky schemes." (www.votepestka.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.

Michigan State Legislative Election 2002 National Political Awareness 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.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legally available.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles
State Budget: Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories.
Slightly Increase Fundinga) Education (Higher)
Slightly Increase Fundingb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increase Fundingc) Environment
Greatly Increase Fundingd) Health care
Slightly Increase Fundinge) Law enforcement
Slightly Increase Fundingf) Transportation and Highway infrastructure
Slightly Increase Fundingg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels you will support.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes
Maintain Statusg) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statush) Property taxes
Maintain Statusi) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusj) Vehicle taxes
k) Other or expanded categories
l) Should Internet sales be taxed?
m) Other or expanded principles

Not at this point.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Noa) Do you support the current limit of two, four-year terms for Michigan governors?
Nob) Do you support the current limit of two, four-year terms for Michigan state senators?
Noc) Do you support the current limit of three, two-year terms for Michigan state representatives?
d) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yese) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesf) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Undecidedg) Do you support voting on-line?
Yesh) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yesi) Do you support straight-party voting?
Yesj) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in Michigan are closed?
k) Do you support creating a new state agency to implement a statewide high speed Internet network?
Yesl) Should Michigan recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
m) Should Michigan restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
n) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
c) Support the use of the death penalty in Michigan.
Xd) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xe) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
Xf) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
g) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
h) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
i) Lower the .10 blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
j) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
k) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation or disability be prosecuted as hate crimes.
Xl) Ban the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officers.
Xm) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xn) Increase state funding for additional security of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks.
o) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
Xc) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
d) Amend Proposal A to allow increases in local property taxes to meet possible school funding needs.
Xe) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xf) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
g) Support displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools.
h) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
i) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xj) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xk) Increase state funding to expand Head Start programs.
Xl) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
Xm) Support age-appropriate sexual education programs that teach about abstinence, contraceptives and HIV/STD prevention methods.
n) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
o) Other or expanded principles
Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children of low-income working families.
f) Include sexual orientation in Michigan's anti-discrimination laws.
g) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on:
Yesa) College and university admissions
b) Public employment
Yesc) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
Xb) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused or abandoned.
Noc) Do you support slant drilling for fossil fuels under the Great Lakes?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yese) Should state environmental regulations be stricter than federal law?
f) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.
a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
Xb) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Support the concealed weapons policy in Michigan.
Xf) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.
Xa) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms or state-funded care where necessary.
Xb) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
c) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied by their HMO.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician-assisted suicide in Michigan.
Xh) Increase state funding for training health workers to recognize and respond to the release of biological agents.
Xi) Increase the amount of money allocated to anti-smoking and health programs from Michigan's portion of the national tobacco settlement.
j) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
Xa) Support current time limits on welfare benefits.
Xb) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xc) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
Xd) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
Xe) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
f) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
g) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
Xh) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to expand state services to include the working poor.
i) Other or expanded principles
In a total of seventy-five (75) words or less, please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.
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