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Bonnie Watson Coleman's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (NJ) - District 12, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Bonnie Watson Coleman has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

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 2016, 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

  • njspotlight.com "In the state, Watson Coleman has fought for […] healthcare and supports the right to choose an abortion." http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/10/29/assemblywoman-bonnie-watson-coleman-wants-to-be-nj-s-first-african-american-congresswoman/ (www.njspotlight.com)
  • "I will continue to defend a woman's right to choose and vigorously oppose attacks against it." https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congresswoman-bonnie-watson-coleman-votes-protect-women-s-rights-and (watsoncoleman.house.gov)
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/24799/bonnie-watson-coleman/2 (votesmart.org)
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

  • Voted in favor of A3201 "Increases the Income Tax Rate on Incomes Over $1 Million" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/40867#.VZv4hnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "While they are vital to so many families and policies that I vehemently support, even the inclusion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credit doesn't make up for the destruction this bill will cause down the line. The GOP majority seems determined to widen the gap between average American workers and CEOs making millions; this goes against everything our nation has ever stood for. This irresponsible legislation is just another example of their willingness to prop up the highest earners on the backs of the hardest workers." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1064606/watson-coleman-denounces-republican-tax-giveaways (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The mandatory minimum sentencing the zones require has effectively created two different sentences for the same crime, depending on where an individual lives […] This is geographic discrimination at its most basic." http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2010/jan/08/sentencing_new_jersey_legislatur (stopthedrugwar.org)
  • "Imprisonment is a costly solution, and too often with nonviolent drug offenders, it is not a solution at all. Many of these individuals are leaving prison worse off than they entered it." http://www.panj.org/pdf/watson-coleman_johnson_bill.pdf (www.panj.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/54470 (votesmart.org)
  • "Our nation would benefit from investment in infrastructure programs, similar to those in the New Deal." http://www.bonnieforcongress.com/job_creation (www.bonnieforcongress.com)
  • "I also support the President in his call for job creation. By focusing on manufacturing, tech jobs, and higher education, we will be able to put more Americans back to work for the 21st Century workforce. The President's proposals on manufacturing hubs, investments in cyber security, and the America's College Promise proposal are steps in the right direction." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/951838/rep-watson-coleman-applauds-presidents-state-of-the-union-address/?search=investment#.VZKrmXUViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S. 581 "Establishes Tax Credits for Investors in Small Business Technology" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/42290 (votesmart.org)
  • "I support effective, tailored tax relief, such as making the R&D credit permanent, but we need to pay for it so that we can make all of the other important investments this country needs." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/978105/watson-coleman-statement-on-rd-tax-credit-bill#.VZv3vXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? 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 Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1. "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1 (www.congress.gov)
  • "I am deeply concerned about the environmental impact of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Approval of this project will increase carbon pollution and threaten our nation's critical water resources. Furthermore, this legislation does not protect the American people from potential leaks from the highly corrosive crude in the pipeline." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/951848/congresswoman-bonnie-watson-coleman-votes-to-oppose-keystone-xl-pipeline/?search=keystone%20xl#.VZKugXUViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Bonnie Watson Coleman led the way for New Jersey to invest in energy efficient appliances long before the green revolution took root. Now, she continues that mission of promoting common-sense, sustainable energy policies through solar, wind, and cutting our dependence on fossil fuels." http://www.bonnieforcongress.com/energy_environment (www.bonnieforcongress.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of A.4559 "Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/16820#.VZv6oXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Reducing our fossil fuel dependence will make America a stronger, safer place to live." http://www.bonnieforcongress.com/energy_environment (www.bonnieforcongress.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Today Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) applauded the President’s announcement of plans to take executive action to help reduce gun violence in America." https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/watson-coleman-applauds-presidents-executive-action-curb-gun-violence (watsoncoleman.house.gov)
  • "In Washington D.C., she will stand with Vice President Biden and his actions to close loopholes at gun shows and reduce magazine clips." http://www.bonnieforcongress.com/gun_violence (www.bonnieforcongress.com)
  • Rated 7% by National Rifle Association http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/24799/bonnie-watson-coleman/37 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We have come too far to repeal these protections. Unlike the Republicans and Tea Partiers whose first agenda item would be to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Bonnie Watson Coleman believes that the Act should be fully implemented and supported to ensure that it works the way it is intended […]." http://www.bonnieforcongress.com/health_care (www.bonnieforcongress.com)
  • "[…] I’m one of many who have introduced legislation to improve it. It’s time to let go of partisan battles, and work together to provide the best quality care to every American family." https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/watson-coleman-statement-king-v-burwell-decision (watsoncoleman.house.gov)
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "As a staunch believer in equality, Bonnie Watson Coleman believes that all immigrants should have the opportunity to pursue the American dream. As a supporter of the DREAM Act, Bonnie believes in a balanced and comprehensive reform to provide opportunities while helping our economy." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/887520/issue-position-immigration#.VZK3PHUViko (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating "We believe it is undeniable that detention in a secure facilities detrimental to mothers and children and is not reflective of our values as a Nation. Children require special protections and should not be laced in ail-like settings." http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/2015_5_27Family_Detention_Letter.pdf (grijalva.house.gov)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must secure these rights and continue the progress of equality for all citizens so that all couples, regardless of orientation, can be recognized and protected under law." https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/watson-coleman-same-sex-couples-should-have-constitutional-right-marry (watsoncoleman.house.gov)
  • "She is committed to fighting for marriage equality, strengthening anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, and combatting homophobia and transphobia both in the United States and around the world." https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/issues (watsoncoleman.house.gov)
  • "Her voting record shows that she has always voted in favor of any legislation that allows for equality of all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity." http://www.bonnieforcongress.com/lgbt_rights (www.bonnieforcongress.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? 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

  • Signed a resolution stating "An Assembly Resolution memorializing Congress to reject Social Security privatization proposals of the President's Social Security Commission that would create private accounts, require deep cuts in guaranteed Social Security benefits and lead to excessive federal borrowing." ftp://www.njleg.state.nj.us/20042005/AR/245_U1.HTM
  • "Bonnie Watson Coleman believes that our values require us to defend and strengthen the protections guaranteed under the Social Security Act." http://www.bonnieforcongress.com/social_security_and_medicare (www.bonnieforcongress.com)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/24799/bonnie-watson-coleman/53 (votesmart.org)

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.

New Jersey State Legislative Election 2005 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) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xb) Abortions should always be legal.
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.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles
State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.
Slightly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Slightly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Environment
Greatly Increased) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement
Slightly Increasef) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Increasef) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
g) Inheritance taxes
Greatly Decreaseh) Property taxes
Maintain Statusi) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusj) Vehicle taxes
k) Other or expanded categories
Yesl) Should Internet sales be taxed?
Nom) Do you support raising the gasoline tax to help balance the state budget?
Undecidedn) Do you support raising the gasoline tax to finance road improvements?
Undecidedo) Do you support installing video lottery terminals at the Meadowlands horse track to increase state revenue?
Yesp) Should New Jersey convene a constitutional convention to address its property tax system?
q) Should New Jersey convene a special session of the state legislature to address its property tax system?
r) What are your proposals for correcting New Jersey’s structural budget deficit? Please use forty (40) words or less. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

I believe we need to cut inefficiencies and hold the line on spending without diminishing the quality of government services. By streamlining the performance of government, and growing the economy, we can eliminate the need for borrowing or additional taxes.

s) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of two consecutive four-year terms for New Jersey governors?
Nob) Do you support limiting the number of terms for New Jersey state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?
No1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yese) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yesf) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Nog) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in New Jersey are closed?
h) Should New Jersey prohibit “wheeling,” the practice of funneling funds into a local campaign from various entities across the state in order to circumvent contribution limits?
i) Should New Jersey prohibit contributors to municipal level campaigns from being awarded state contracts worth more than $17,500?
j) Should New Jersey prohibit elected officials from holding more than one office at the same time?
Yesk) Should New Jersey amend its constitution to create the office of lieutenant governor?
Yesl) Should New Jersey recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
m) Should New Jersey restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
n) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in New Jersey.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
Xe) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
Xf) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Xg) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xi) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xj) Increase funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent and to respond to terrorist attacks.
k) 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 public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
Xe) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xf) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
Xg) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
Xh) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xi) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xj) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
Xk) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
Xl) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
n) Other or expanded principles
Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order 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 children in low-income working families.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
f) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on:
Yesa) Public employment
Yesb) State college and university admissions
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.
b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
Xc) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xd) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xe) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
f) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Xa) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
Xe) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
Xf) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
Xg) Support current licensing requirements for gun possession.
h) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
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 punitive 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.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in New Jersey.
Xh) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xi) Support a $200 million housing trust fund for individuals with mental illness or other disabilities.
Xj) Forgive up to $20,000 in student loans for New Jersey residents who work in a state, county, or non-profit mental health or social service agency.
Xk) Allocate $150 million in capital funds to build a stem cell institute in New Jersey.
Xl) Support a $230 million bond referendum to increase funding for stem cell research.
m) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.
a) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xb) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xc) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Support current limits on benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
e) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
Xf) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
g) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
h) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
i) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 75 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.

If re-elected, I will continue to advance legislation which promotes the construction of affordable housing, so that we can make New Jersey and affordable place for all income levels.

Also, I plan to establish a Task Force on Education Reform for the purpose of looking at the best delivery systems for public education with an objective of finding ways to make it more efficient and cost effective to taxpayers, and consequently, lower property taxes.

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