|Full Name:||Richard Hugh Baker|
|Family:||Wife: Kay; 2 Children|
|Birth Place:||New Orleans, LA|
|Home City:||Baton Rouge, LA|
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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.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.
|a) Abortions should always be legally available.|
|b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.|
|X||c) Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.|
|d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.|
|e) Abortions should always be illegal.|
|f) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and notification requirements as decided by each state government.|
|X||g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.|
|X||h) Prohibit public funding of abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.|
1) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following categories. Select one number (level) only.
|Maintain Status||a) AIDS programs|
|Eliminate||b) Arts funding|
|Slightly Increase||c) Education (K-12)|
|Maintain Status||d) Environmental programs|
|Slightly Decrease||e) Foreign aid|
|Slightly Increase||f) Housing projects|
|Slightly Increase||g) Job training programs|
|Slightly Increase||h) Law enforcement|
|Greatly Increase||i) Medicaid|
|Greatly Increase||j) Medicare|
|Maintain Status||k) NASA|
|Maintain Status||l) Student loan programs|
|Maintain Status||m) Welfare|
2) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following defense-related categories. Select one number (level) only.
|Slightly Increase||a) Armed Forces personnel training|
|Maintain Status||b) CIA appropriations|
|Maintain Status||c) Defense plant conversion|
|Maintain Status||d) Development of new weapons|
|Slightly Increase||e) Military hardware|
|Maintain Status||f) Military space shuttle missions|
|Slightly Increase||g) National Missile Defense Program|
|Slightly Increase||h) Pay for active duty personnel|
|Yes||3) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?|
4) Indicate how you would apply the expected federal budget surplus.
|X||a) Social Security|
|X||c) Tax cuts|
|X||d) Federal debt reduction|
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance reform.
|a) Remove all legislative limits on campaign financing.|
|b) Establish spending limits on congressional campaigns.|
|c) Provide public funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.|
|X||d) Support legislation that would increase the federal limits on individual contributions.|
|X||e) Strengthen and enforce legislation that encourages full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information.|
|f) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.|
|g) Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.|
|h) Ban the unregulated campaign contributions known as soft money.|
|i) Pass legislation banning issue advocacy commercials by outside groups within 60 days of an election.|
|X||j) Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making contributions to federal campaigns.|
Require 60% of all contributions to originate from district.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.
|a) Broaden use of the death penalty for federal crimes.|
|X||b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.|
|X||c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.|
|d) Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.|
|X||e) Expand funding for community policing programs.|
|f) Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal firearms.|
|X||g) Prosecute youths accused of a felony as adults.|
|h) Increase funding for local Boys & Girls Clubs and other independent organizations in communities with at-risk youth.|
|i) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.|
|j) Deport all permanent resident aliens convicted of a felony.|
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning illegal drugs.
|X||a) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.|
|X||b) Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.|
|X||c) Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.|
|X||d) Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills.|
|e) Increase funding of federally-sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.|
|f) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.|
|X||g) Increase funding for border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.|
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the economy and employment.
|X||a) Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high unemployment.|
|X||b) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.|
|X||c) Reduce government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.|
|X||d) Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.|
|e) Eliminate any federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.|
|f) Increase the minimum wage.|
|X||g) Pass legislation that encourages employers to offer their employees the options of flex-time scheduling, comp-time and unpaid leave to attend to their family responsibilities.|
|X||h) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide on-site child care.|
2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding affirmative action and discrimination.
|a) The federal government should consider race and sex in making government contracting decisions.|
|b) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs only if such programs do not include quotas.|
|X||c) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.|
|X||d) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the public sector.|
|X||e) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the private sector.|
|f) The federal government should include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination laws.|
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning education.
|a) Support national standards and testing in reading and math.|
|X||b) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any publicly funded school.|
|X||c) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.|
|X||d) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any publicly funded school.|
|X||e) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.|
|X||f) Support creation of more charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.|
|X||g) Give all federal education funding to states in the form of block grants and allow them to spend it as they see fit.|
|h) Support voluntary teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.|
|i) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.|
|Yes||2) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee the right to religious expression and voluntary prayer in public places, including schools?|
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding America's environment and natural resources.
|X||a) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.|
|b) Strengthen the Clean Water Act.|
|X||c) Change the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to limit the number of habitats eligible to be designated as endangered.|
|d) Increase fees charged to ranchers who graze cattle on federal lands.|
|e) Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the fees charged to mining companies using federal lands.|
|X||f) Encourage development of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.|
|X||g) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks.|
|h) Increase federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to promote conservation and alternative fuel development.|
|i) Promote the selling of pollution credits between nations to encourage industries to decrease pollution levels.|
|j) Impose stricter national air quality standards.|
|k) Adhere to the United Nations treaty regarding global climate change.|
|l) Strengthen the restrictions on clear-cutting on federal lands.|
Indicate which level of government that should have primary responsibility for the following services. Select one level only.
|Federal||a) Border security|
|Federal||b) Civil rights enforcement|
|State||d) Environmental cleanup|
|State||e) Job training|
|Local||f) Law enforcement|
|State||g) Low-income housing|
|Federal||j) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)|
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Bosnia/former Yugoslavia.
|X||a) The U.S. should lift the arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina.|
|X||b) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina with a certain deadline for withdrawal.|
|c) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina without a certain deadline for withdrawal.|
2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.
|a) The U.S. should resolve future disputes with Iraq through diplomatic means.|
|X||b) The U.S. should take unilateral military action if Iraq does not comply with all accepted UN resolutions.|
|X||c) The U.S. should take military action against Iraq only as part of an international effort.|
|d) The U.S. should not continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and Palestine.|
3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United States-United Nations relationship.
|a) The U.S. should contribute more funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.|
|X||b) The U.S. should contribute less funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.|
|X||c) The U.S. should participate in UN peacekeeping missions only when vital U.S. interests are involved.|
|d) The U.S. should not commit military troops to UN peacekeeping missions.|
|e) The U.S. should withdraw from the UN completely.|
|f) The U.S. should pay its debt to the United Nations.|
|4) Should the U.S. have diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba?|
|5) Should the U.S. recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?|
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.
|a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.|
|b) Increase federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.|
|c) Maintain federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.|
|X||d) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.|
|X||e) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.|
|X||f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.|
|g) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.|
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues in America.
|a) The federal government has no responsibility in providing health care.|
|b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.|
|c) Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to that of Canada.|
|X||d) Support health care strategies focused on prevention, including health education and natural medicines and remedies.|
|X||e) Support legislation to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialists and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.|
|X||f) Allow small business owners, the self-employed and workers whose employers do not provide health insurance to have the same deductibility for health costs as corporations and large employers.|
|X||g) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.|
|X||h) Establish limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.|
|i) Allow states and local communities to use federal funds for needle-exchange programs to combat the spread of HIV.|
|j) Classify nicotine as a drug and cigarettes as drug delivery devices, which should be regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.|
|k) Provide citizens age 55-65 the option of purchasing Medicare health coverage.|
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.
|X||a) Decrease the number of immigrants allowed into the country.|
|b) Increase the eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs (i.e. HUD housing, food stamps).|
|c) Require the Immigration and Naturalization Service to reduce to six months the time between applying for citizenship and taking the oath of allegiance.|
|d) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.|
|e) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.|
|X||f) Children of illegal immigrants, born in the United States, should not automatically receive U.S. citizenship.|
|g) Increase the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers.|
|X||h) Establish English as the official and recognized language of the United States government.|
|The American people have consistently mentioned the decline of morals and ethics in America as a major problem facing the country. On an attached page, in fifty words or less, explain what you will do as a member of Congress to address this concern.|
One cannot legislate morality and ethical behavior -- to live by these virtues is a personal decision. However, I believe morality and ethical behavior are best taught by the traditional family structure. In Congress, I support legislation that strengthens families so these virtues are taught and learned at an early age.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.
|X||a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage.|
|X||b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which are managed by the government.|
|c) Invest Social Security's assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of U.S. Treasury securities.|
|d) Increase the payroll tax to finance the program in its current form.|
|X||e) Invest a portion of the budget surplus into the Social Security trust fund.|
|f) Increase the minimum age that determines when retirees are able to receive full Social Security benefits.|
|g) Lower Social Security's annual cost-of-living increases.|
|h) Limit Social Security benefits based on recipients' other income and assets.|
|i) Require individuals to pay the Social Security tax on income above $68,400, which is currently exempt.|
1) Indicate the levels you support concerning taxes in the following categories. Select one number (level) only.
|a) Retiree income over $40,000|
|b) Family income less than $25,000|
|c) Family income $25-75,000|
|d) Family income $75-150,000|
|e) Family income over $150,000|
Other Tax Issues:
|f) Alcohol taxes|
|g) Capital gains taxes|
|h) Charitable deductions|
|i) Child tax credit|
|j) Cigarette taxes|
|k) Corporate income taxes|
|l) Earned Income Tax Credit|
|m) Estate taxes|
|n) Medical expense deductions|
|o) Mortgage deductions|
The question seems unclear. My response is to decrease taxes greatly across the board.
|Undecided||2) Do you support replacing the U.S. income tax structure with a flat income tax?|
|Yes||3) Do you support eliminating the Internal Revenue Service?|
|Undecided||4) Do you support instituting a national sales tax?|
|Yes||5) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?|
|Yes||6) Do you support requiring a super-majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise taxes?|
|No||1) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms which members of Congress can serve?|
If you support term limits, how many terms should each serve?
|Senator (# of 6 yr. terms)|
|Representatives (# of 2 yr. terms)|
|Yes||1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?|
|Yes||2) Do you support broadening NAFTA to include other countries in the western hemisphere?|
|Yes||3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?|
|Yes||4) Do you support the World Trade Organization (WTO)?|
|Undecided||5) Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?|
|No||6) Should a nation's human rights record affect its "most favored nation" trading status with the United States?|
|Yes||7) Do you support granting the President "fast-track" authority?|
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding poverty and the welfare system.
|X||a) Provide tax incentives for companies to hire and train homeless people who want to work.|
|b) Increase funding of homeless shelters and low income housing projects.|
|c) Increase funds for housing assistance for welfare recipients who need housing to get or keep a job.|
|d) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.|
|X||e) Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through block grants.|
|f) Eliminate federal funds for welfare programs at the federal, state or local levels.|
|X||g) Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.|
|X||h) Convert government-funded low-income housing projects into private housing, managed and owned by the residents.|
|X||i) Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits.|
|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.|
(1) I will introduce legislation to help existing child care facilities find competitive financing for expansion, increasing safety, and training personnel. A national research center will be established to provide resources for centers. Funding will be on basis of user fees, at no expense to the federal government.