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Steven 'Steve' L. Beshear

Steve Beshear's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Steven 'Steve' L. Beshear
Office: Governor (KY), Democratic
First Elected: 11/06/2007
Last Elected: 11/08/2011
Next Election: 2014
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Jane; 2 Children: Jeff, Andy
Birth Date: 09/21/1944
Birth Place: Dawson Springs, KY
Home City: Lexington, KY
Religion: Baptist
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Steve Beshear refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2011 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Congressional Election 1996 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 all principles you support concerning abortion.
a) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is completed within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest or 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 be limited by waiting periods and notification requirements as decided by each state government.
f) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xg) Other

Abortions should be legally available within parameters of Roe v. Wade.

Indicate your position concerning affirmative action programs.
a) The federal government should consider preferences to minority-owned businesses in granting government contracts.
Xb) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the public sector.
c) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the private sector.
Xd) The federal government should provide affirmative actions programs as long as such programs do not include quotas.
e) The federal government should not provide any affirmative action programs.
f) Other
YesDo you support amending the US Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?
1) Indicate what changes you support (if any) concerning levels of federal funding for the following categories. Select one number only.
Maintain Statusa) AIDS Programs
Maintain Statusb) Arts funding
Slightly Increasec) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increased) Environmental programs
Maintain Statuse) Housing projects
Slightly Increasef) Job training programs
Slightly Increaseg) Law enforcement
Maintain Statush) Medicaid
Maintain Statusi) Medicare
Maintain Statusj) NASA
Slightly Increasek) Student loan programs
Slightly Decreasel) Welfare (AFDC)
m) Other
n) Other
o) Other
2) Do you support the use of block grants given to states, rather than federal spending, in the following areas?
Noa) Agriculture
Nob) Education
Undecidedc) Farm subsidies
Undecidedd) Food stamps
Yese) Law enforcement
Nof) Medicaid
Nog) Medicare
Noh) School lunches
Undecidedi) Welfare
j) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding campaign finance reform.
a) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
b) Establish spending limits on congressional campaigns and provide public funding for complying candidates.
c) Support legislation that would increase the federal limits on individual contributions.
Xd) Pass legislation that would encourage full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information.
e) Remove all legislative limits on campaign financing.
Xf) Other

Spending limits with reduced TV rates for complying candidates.

Indicate which principles you support to address crime.
a) Broaden use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.
Xc) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
Xd) Support the use of "boot camps" as alternative sentencing for adult first-time felons.
Xe) Limit the number of appeals allowed to inmates on death row.
f) Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xg) Expand funding for community policing programs.
h) Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal firearms.
Xi) Prosecute youths accused of murder as adults.
Xj) Increase funding for local Boys & Girls Clubs and other independent organizations in communities with at-risk youth.
k) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xl) Deport all permanent resident aliens convicted of a felony.
m) Other
Indicate what changes you support (if any) regarding funding for the following categories. Select one number only.
Maintain Status1) CIA appropriations
Maintain Status2) Defense plant conversion
Maintain Status3) Military hardware
Maintain Status4) Military space shuttle missions
Maintain Status5) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Decrease6) Development of new weapons
Slightly Decrease7) Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
Maintain Status8) Armed Forces personnel training
9) Other
No1) Do you support amending the United States Constitution to allow voluntary prayer and/or moment of silence in public schools?
Yes2) Do you support funding the National Service Program (Ameri-Corps) in which young people receive money from the federal government for college in return for performing community service?
3) Indicate which principles you support concerning education.
Xa) Maintain the national standards and goals set forth in "Goals 2000".
b) Provide parents with vouchers to send their children to any publicly funded school.
c) Provide parents with vouchers to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
d) Implement charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
e) Eliminate the Department of Education, thereby giving state and local government greater control over educational issues.
Xf) Other

Stress morals in schools.

Indicate which principles or programs you support regarding America's environment and natural resources.
a) Transfer public lands, such as federal forests and range lands, to the jurisdiction of state and local governments.
b) Require the federal government to reimburse citizens when environmental regulations limit use of privately owned lands.
Xc) Strengthen the Clean Water Act.
d) Change the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to limit the number of habitats eligible to be designated as endangered.
e) Utilize cost-benefit analysis to determine economic impacts of proposed environmental protection and cleanup legislation.
f) Increase fees charged to ranchers who graze cattle on federal lands.
g) Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the amounts charged to mining companies using federal lands.
h) Encourage development of alternative fuels and electric cars to reduce pollution.
i) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks.
j) Increase federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to promote conservation and alternative fuel development.
Xk) Require that a percentage of purchases made by federal agencies include recycled components.
Xl) Promote the selling of pollution credits to encourage industries to decrease amount of pollution.
m) Other
Indicate which level of government should have primary responsibility for the following services. Select one level only.
Federal1) Border security
Federal2) Civil rights enforcement
Local3) Education
Federal4) Environmental cleanup
Federal5) Job training
Local6) Law enforcement
State7) Low-income housing
Federal8) Medicaid
Federal9) Medicare
State10) Welfare (AFDC)
11) Other
No1) Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba?
Yes2) Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Vietnam?
Undecided3) Should the US recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?
Undecided4) Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty?
Yes5) Should the US continue funding for Radio Marti and TV Marti?
Yes6) Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Asia?
Yes7) Do you support the deployment of US troops to the former Yugoslavia?
8) Indicate your position concerning economic aid to Russia and the former Soviet republics.
a) Economic aid to Russia and the former republics should be increased to facilitate democracy and market reforms.
Xb) Economic aid to Russia and the former republics should be continued unless Russia exports nuclear weapons or related technology.
c) Economic aid to Russia and the former republics should be decreased and/or eliminated.
d) Other
9) Indicate which principles you support regarding US economic aid to foreign countries.
a) Foreign aid should only be given when extraordinary circumstances and disaster threaten the lives of civilian populations.
b) Foreign aid should be given to countries only when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Foreign aid should be eliminated from any nation with documented human rights abuses.
Xd) Foreign aid should be maintained at current levels.
e) Other
10) Indicate which principles you support regarding the United States - United Nations relationship.
a) The US should contribute more funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
Xb) The US should participate in UN peacekeeping missions only when vital US interests are directly threatened.
c) The US should use military force only when the US border or territories are attacked or American citizens are in danger.
Xd) The US should pay the money it owes to the United Nations.
e) The US should withdraw from the UN completely.
f) Other
Indicate which principles you support concerning gun issues.
a) Expand the nationwide ban on the sale or transfer of assault weapons to include all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
b) Increase restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
Xc) Maintain all federal registration procedures and restrictions on possessing firearms.
d) Ease procedures on the purchase and registration of firearms.
e) Repeal all bans and measures that restrict law-abiding citizens from owning legally-obtained firearms.
f) Allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms that are legally owned and registered.
g) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding America's health care system.
a) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
b) Provide vouchers to the working poor so they can buy into a private health care plan.
c) Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to that of Canada.
Xd) Support a "managed competition" health care plan to contain costs and improve access that does not include mandated health alliances, government cost control powers, or employer/employee mandates.
Xe) Provide tax incentives for small businesses to help provide health care to their employees.
Xf) Allow middle and low income families to deduct yearly health care costs from their taxable income.
g) Establish limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
h) Encourage tax-free medical savings accounts, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.
i) The federal government has no responsibility in providing health care.
Xj) Other

Support Kennedy-Kassebaum bill.

Indicate which principles you support concerning illegal drugs.
Xa) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
b) Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xc) Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.
Xd) Require drug testing for federal employees in sensitive positions (Air Traffic Control, National Park Police, Secret Service, etc.).
Xe) Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills.
Xf) Increase funding of federally-sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
g) Decriminalize the possession and private use of marijuana.
h) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding issues relating to immigration.
a) Further limit the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
c) Ease citizenship requirements in order to make it easier for immigrants to become United States citizens.
d) Establish English as the official and recognized language of the United States.
e) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
f) Restrict the eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs (i.e. AFDC, HUD housing, food stamps, etc.).
g) Children of illegal immigrants, born in the United States, should not automatically receive US citizenship.
Xh) Other

Streamline process of deporting illegal aliens and strengthen border enforcement.

YesShould the President be allowed to veto certain items of legislation while signing spending or tax bills into law?
The American people have consistently mentioned the decline of morals and ethics in America as a major problem facing the country. Explain what you will do as a member of Congress to address this concern.

Growing up in the small town of Dawson Springs, as the son of a Baptist minister, I learned the value of family and community. My wife of 27 years, Jane, my two sons and I will strive to be positive role models during my service as a United States Senator.

Indicate which principles you support regarding the poor and homeless.
Xa) 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 funding of programs that help alcoholics and drug addicts recover and find steady work.
Xd) Increase the minimum wage.
e) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.
f) Provide government jobs for those who wish to work and cannot find a job in the private sector.
Xg) Increase the income tax deduction on individual contributions made to charities that help the poor and homeless.
Xh) Implement enterprise zones in communities with high unemployment.
i) Other
1) Indicate the changes you support (if any) concerning the tax levels for the following categories. Select one number only.
Income Taxes
Maintain Statusa) Retiree income over $40,000
Slightly Decreaseb) Family income less than $25,000
Slightly Decreasec) Family income $25-75,000
Maintain Statusd) Family income $75-150,000
Maintain Statuse) Family income over $150,000
Other Tax Issues
Maintain Statusf) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Decreaseg) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increaseh) Charitable deductions
Maintain Statusi) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusj) Corporate income taxes
Slightly Increasek) Earned income tax credit
Slightly Decreasel) Estate taxes
Slightly Increasem) Medical expense deductions
Maintain Statusn) Mortgage deductions
o) Other
No2) Do you support replacing the US income tax structure with a flat income tax?
Undecided3) Do you support replacing the US income tax structure with a broad-based consumption tax?
No1) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms which members of Congress can serve?
2) If you support term limits, how many years should each serve?
Senator (years)
Representatives (years)
Indicate which principles you support concerning terrorism.
a) Relax current guidelines that forbid the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating terrorist groups when there is a "reasonable indication" of terrorist activities.
Xb) Relax wiretapping restrictions to give the FBI broader authority to investigate terrorist suspects.
Xc) Require that chemical tracing agents be added to commercially-sold products that can be used to produce explosives.
d) Implement tighter restrictions on firearm sales in an effort to hinder terrorist groups from stockpiling weapon arsenals.
Xe) Grant broader authority to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service to deny entrance visas to terrorist suspects.
f) Maintain limits on the authority of federal agencies investigating suspected terrorists.
g) Restrict the investigative authority of the FBI and other governmental agencies.
h) Other
No1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
Undecided2) Do you support broadening NAFTA to include other countries?
Yes3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Undecided4) Do you support the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
No5) Do you support lifting the trade embargo imposed against Cuba?
Yes6) Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?
Yes7) Should a nation's human rights record affect its "most favored nation" trading status with the United States?
Indicate which principles you support regarding unemployment.
Xa) Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high unemployment.
Xb) Increase funding for national job-training programs.
c) Increase funding for public works projects such as the repair of roads and bridges.
d) Eliminate government regulations of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xe) Establish enterprise zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
Xf) Overhaul the current unemployment system by focusing on training and education in skills needed in certain industries.
g) Eliminate any governmental programs designed to reduce unemployment.
h) Other
Indicate which principles you support regarding the US welfare system.
Xa) Strengthen child support collection procedures and increase penalties for parents who do not pay child support.
Xb) Impose a two-year limit on welfare benefits for recipients who are able to work.
c) Require welfare recipients to accept some form of government-sponsored job after two years if unemployed in the private sector.
Xd) Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits.
e) Limit the benefits given to single women if they have additional children while receiving welfare benefits.
Xf) Provide child care services to welfare recipients who work or attend school.
g) Provide rent or housing supplement vouchers for low-income families.
h) Make no substantial changes at this time.
Xi) Increase funding of programs that prevent teen pregnancy and family break-up.
Xj) Support programs that give incentives for employers to hire and train welfare recipients.
k) Other
1) Explain your two main legislative priorities if elected to Congress.

I will fight for working families to protect Medicare and Medicaid for our parents and grandparents, improve education for our children, protect the environment for our families and fight crime so our neighborhoods and communities will be safer. We must balance the federal budget, but not on the backs of seniors and children. We must also remove the corrupting influence of big money in political campaigns by passing effective campaign finance reform.

2) Should your priorities require additional government funding, please explain how you intend to obtain the additional funding.
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