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Berta Gardner's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: State Senate (AK) - I, Democratic Minority Leader
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Berta Gardner has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Berta Gardner is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Alaska State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage 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.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
Xd) 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) Abortions should be subject to a mandatory waiting period.
g) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles

Abortions should be safe, rare and legal.
Medical procedures should be determined by a patient and doctor, not by state legislators.

State Budget: Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
a) Education (Higher)
b) Education (K-12)
c) Emergency preparedness
d) Environment
e) Health care
f) Law enforcement
g) Transportation and highway infrastructure
h) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories

Cannot answer this question without hearing proposals and testimony for each case. More information is needed.

State Taxes: Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statuse) Property taxes
Maintain Statusf) Vehicle taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
No1) Should accounts such as a "rainy day" fund be used to balance the state budget?
No2) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
3) Other or expanded principles

Alaska is in the rare position of having plenty of money. The challenge is to use it wisely, to invest in projects and programs which will provide longterm benefit to Alaskans and to save enough for future security.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of terms for Alaska governors?
Yesb) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Alaska state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
Yes1) 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?
Nof) Should Alaska participate in the federal REAL ID program?
g) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
Xa) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Establish the death penalty in Alaska.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
e) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xf) Support state and local law enforcement officials enforcing federal immigration laws.
Xg) Support hate crime legislation.
h) Other or expanded principles

a) Wherever possible public services should be accomplished by public servants. This includes prisons, schools, law enforcement etc.

c) Today's prisoner might well be tomorrow's neighbor and a person who has learned how to support himself/herself will be a better community member.

d) If public safety can be assured, effective alternative punishment might be more cost-effective than incarceration.

f) Alaska's law enforcement should enforce all laws as a normal part of their work. If the federal government demands that we take responsibility for enforcement of federal laws, that demand should come with the resources necessary to comply.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support state funding of universal pre-K programs.
b) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
Xc) Support state education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students.
Xd) Support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xe) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
f) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xg) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
h) Support using a merit pay system for teachers.
Xi) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
j) Support allowing illegal immigrant high school graduates of Alaska to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
k) Other or expanded principles

a) I do not believe the state should take responsibility for universal pre-K but I do support offering pre-K as an option, with a sliding scale for payment.

c) I support strong state standards for education, but there should be more than one way for students to demonstrate mastery of required material.

e) ....on a space-available basis. Local students should have priority at local public schools.

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.
c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xf) Include sexual orientation in Alaska's anti-discrimination laws.
Xg) Include gender identity in Alaska's anti-discrimination laws.
Xh) Increase the state minimum wage.
i) Support laws that prevent employers from dismissing employees at will.
Xj) Support financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
Xk) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xl) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
m) Other or expanded principles

Our goal should be for all Alaskans to be trained and educated, and have jobs available, at wages which provide a decent standard of living, in safe housing, with access to affordable healthcare.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
Xb) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil, etc).
c) Support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops.
d) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xe) Support funding for improvements to Alaska's power generating and transmission facilities.
Xf) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xg) Limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
h) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
i) What would you like to see done concerning a natural gas pipeline originating in the North Slope? Please use one hundred (100) words or less.

h) The state of Alaska should enact whatever environmental regulations Alaskans deem appropriate.

i) We should ship our gas to market asap in a manner which assures access for Alaskan communities, and promotes instate employment to the maximimum extent possible. I am convinced that the best longterm employment strategy is to encourage new companies to explore and develop our resources on the North Slope and the way to do that is to support a pipeline which has regular open seasons, with voluntary expansions and rolled-in rates.

j) Other or expanded principles

Alaska is not only an immensely rich resource state, but we have access to every type of renewable energy. My dream is for this state to be a leader in research, development and use of the whole range of renewable energy options.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Noa) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesb) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Noc) Should a license be required for gun possession?
Yesd) Do you support current levels of enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yese) Do you support current state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
f) Other or expanded principles

a) Many gun shows operate as informal swap meets. Not all sales and trades are handled by professionals.

e) As far as I am aware current state regulations are reasonable. I would need to hear testimony on any proposed changes before I could decide if they are necessary.

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.
b) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
c) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
d) Allow patients to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Require hospitals and labs to release reports on infections that are a risk to public health, while not compromising patient confidentiality.
Xf) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Alaska.
Xg) Support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
h) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Yesa) Should Alaska recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
b) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Yesc) Should Alaska provide state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples?
Yesd) Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?
Yese) Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?
Yesf) Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Nog) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
h) Should the state government consider race and gender in state government contracting and hiring decisions?
i) Do you support affirmative action in public college admissions?
j) Should Alaska continue affirmative action programs?
Yesk) Do you support state funding of stem cell research?
l) Do you support state funding of embryonic stem cell research?
Nom) Do you support allowing pharmacists who conscientiously object to emergency contraception to refuse to dispense it?
n) Other or expanded principles
Legislative Priorities
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.

The biggest issue before us is to get our immense volumes of gas to market. When that goal is accomplished we will be able to do fully address the problems facing this state: high school graduations rates, lack of access to health care, high energy costs and inadequate law enforcement in many areas of the state. We will be able to invest in renewable energy research and to build a real university system, drawing the best and brightest from outside to study here....and perhaps remain to continue moving Alaska forward.

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