Melquiades 'Mel' Rafael Martinez's Political Positions

Biographical

Full Name: Melquiades 'Mel' Rafael Martinez
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Kitty; 3 Children: Andrew, John, Lauren
Birth Date: 10/23/1946
Birth Place: Sagua La Grande, Cuba
Home City: Orlando, FL
Religion: Catholic
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What is the Political Courage Test?

Congressional Election 2004 National Political Awareness Test

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.

Key

Candidate Answer
Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.
Unknown Answer
Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

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.
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 the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as "partial-birth" abortion.
g) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
h) Other or expanded principles

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.

Budget Priorities

a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland security
g) International aid
h) Law enforcement
i) Medical research
j) National parks
k) Public health services
l) Scientific research
m) Space exploration programs
n) Transportation and highway infrastructure
o) Welfare
p) Other or expanded categories

My top two budget priorities are National Defense and Homeland Security.

Defense Spending

a) Armed Forces personnel training
b) Intelligence operations
c) Military hardware
d) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
e) National missile defense
f) Pay for active duty personnel
g) Programs to improve troop retention rates
h) Research and development of new weapons
i) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories

America must wage and win the war on terrorism. I am committed to this effort and to providing whatever funding and resources are needed towards this goal. I believe our country must reserve the right to preemptive action and not wait to be attacked before acting to protect us. As Florida's next U.S. Senator I will always work hard to gain international support for our military actions, but will never condition our ability to act on permission from any other nation or international organization.

Using the key above, indicate what federal tax levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.

Taxes

Income Taxes:

Family Income

a) Less than $25,000
b) $25,000-$75,000
c) $75,000-$150,000
d) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories

Retiree Income

f) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories

Other Taxes:

a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories

Deductions/Credits:

a) Charitable contributions
b) Child tax credit
c) Earned income tax credit
d) Medical expense deduction
e) Mortgage deduction
f) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories

I will not support any additional taxes, as they are a burden on America's families and small businesses. I am proud to have campaigned around the country on behalf of President Bush's tax cut plan, and will lead the fight in the Senate to make those tax cuts permanent including the child tax credit and eliminating the marriage tax penalty.

4) Do you support permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
5) Do you support eliminating taxes on dividends paid to individual investors?
6) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
7) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.

a) Support public taxpayer funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
b) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
e) Allow ads paid for by soft money that support or attack a candidate for federal office.
f) Allow issue advocacy commercials by corporations, labor unions, and non-profit groups which appear within 60 days of a general election and within 30 days of a primary election.
g) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
h) Do you support instant run-off voting (IRV)?
i) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
j) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
k) Should marriage be restricted to a union only between a man and a woman?
l) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.

a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
e) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
f) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
g) Support additional criminal penalties if a fetus is killed in the commission of a federal crime against a pregnant woman.
h) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Support programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
j) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of white-collar crimes.
k) Enforcement of civil rights should primarily be the responsibility of the federal government.
l) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xm) Other or expanded principles

I support the death penalty. I support additional criminal penalties if a fetus is killed in the commission of a federal crime against a pregnant woman. I support the reform of our legal system including caps to non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, reform of class action lawsuits and asbestos litigation reform. I support a "loser pay" system, which will reduce frivolous lawsuits.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drugs.

a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
b) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
d) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
e) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
Xg) Other or expanded principles

I support increased border security for stopping illegal immigrants and illegal drugs.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

a) Support national standards for and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any public school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any private or religious school.
d) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
e) Increase funding for block grants to states to aid in the hiring of additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
g) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
h) Support granting states limited control over Head Start programs.
i) Support changing the mission of Head Start to emphasize improving the math and reading skills of disadvantaged children.
j) Providing education is not a responsibility of the federal government.
k) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
l) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
m) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
Xn) Other or expanded principles

The federal government is sending unprecedented amounts of federal dollars back to the states for education but too many of our children cannot read or write at grade level. This is not acceptable. We must demand that our schools be held accountable for those dollars and the results they produce. That is why I support education reform to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools by demanding accountability. In order to keep our best teachers in the classroom we need to reward excellent results with higher pay. As Florida's next U.S. Senator, I will continue to support measures that give our schools and educators the resources they deserve while holding them accountable for results. I also support giving parents choices when schools fail their children.

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.

a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
c) Provide tax credits or grants to businesses that offer child care services to employees.
d) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
e) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
f) Increase the federal minimum wage.
g) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
h) Allow workers to sell company stock and to diversify their company retirement funds into other investment options.
Xi) Other or expanded principles

I support programs for job training and retraining. We must eliminate unnecessary government regulations to encourage investment and economic expansion.

2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding affirmative action.

a) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
c) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
e) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
c) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
d) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
e) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
f) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
g) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
h) Support opening a select portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
i) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
j) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
k) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
l) Support the U.S. re-entering the Kyoto treaty process to limit global warming.
Xm) Other or expanded principles

As an avid outdoorsman and fisherman I can appreciate the value of our State's biodiversity and natural heritage; it is important to me that we fight to protect it. As Florida's next U.S. Senator I will work hard to ensure Washington supports the cleanup of the Everglades, forbids oil-drilling off the coast of Florida, and enacts sensible regulations to protect our valuable natural resources.

I support the sensible Energy Policy Act of 2003 now before Congress to both increase efficiency and production. We must reduce our dependence on foreign oil by increasing domestic output and by investing in the development of alternative fuels. As Florida's next U.S. Senator, I will support legislation that provides incentives to increase our nation's refining capacity and make energy production more safe and efficient.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.

a) Renew the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
b) Maintain and strengthen the current level of enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
f) 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) Establish a national database of ballistic "fingerprints" to track guns used in criminal activities.
j) Support legislation that would protect manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms from civil lawsuits by crime victims.
Xk) Other or expanded principles

As a gun owner, collector, and sportsman I will always vote to protect our Second Amendment rights. I know first hand what can happen when government limits gun rights. As I child I witnessed the communist takeover of Cuba. One of the first things Castro did when he came to power was to confiscate our guns. Then he slowly took away our other freedoms -- religious, speech, and dissent -- until finally government controlled every facet of our lives. I will vote on the side of freedom and our right to keep and bear arms.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health care.

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
d) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to sue when claims are denied.
e) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
f) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
g) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
h) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under private managed care plans.
i) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
j) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
k) Allow 55-65 year-olds to buy into Medicare.
l) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
m) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
Xn) Other or expanded principles

We are blessed with the world's best health care. We must assure every Floridian has access to quality care. As Florida's next U.S. Senator, I will:
* Put patients' needs first by ensuring that doctors, not bureaucrats, make decisions on what is best for their patients.
* Allow drug re-importation as long as we can ensure the integrity of the distribution system.
* Help more Floridians afford health insurance by promoting health saving accounts.
* Encourage Association Health Plans that give small businesses access to health insurance premiums at the discounted rate that large corporations currently enjoy.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.

a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Establish English as the official national language.
c) Increase the number of visas issued for agricultural workers.
d) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
e) Support amnesty for certain illegal immigrants who already reside in the United States.
f) Support the detention of asylum seekers from countries known to sponsor terrorism.
Xg) Other or expanded principles

Our immigration policy should first and foremost ensure the security of our great Nation and those individuals posing a terrorist threat should be prevented from entering our country. I strongly oppose amnesty for illegal aliens; our immigration laws should not reward lawlessness.

International Aid

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding United States economic assistance.

a) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
b) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

International Policy

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.

a) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
b) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
c) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
d) Discuss your proposals for the reconstruction of Iraq. What funding sources would you use to implement these proposals? (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)
e) Other or expanded principles

Israel and the United States share a special bond, a democratic form of government and a shared history. It is important that we maintain this relationship as one of our most important and solid alliances. We must continue to be an advocate for peace in the Middle East and work toward an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The solution to this conflict must result in a free and secure Israel and an independent Palestinian state coexisting in peace and security.

2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Central and East Asia.

a) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
b) Should the United States use military force to destroy the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
c) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
d) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
e) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles

3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United Nations.

a) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
b) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
c) Should the United States commit troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions?
d) Other or expanded principles
4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs"?
6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles

International Trade

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.

1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
2) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
3) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
4) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
5) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
6) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
7) Other or expanded principles

I support free trade measures that will create more jobs and provide new economic opportunities for Florida's workers. Trade must also be fair so that Florida businesses and workers compete on a level playing field in the global market. Florida's hardworking farmers are the most efficient in the world and can compete with anyone on a level playing field. As America pursues free trade policy, it is critical to stand up for Florida's agricultural industry including citrus, sugar, and vegetables.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.

a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
b) Should the United States adopt stricter rules for student visa applications from nations known to sponsor terrorism?
c) Should the United States grant law enforcement agencies greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches to prevent future terrorist attacks?
d) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
e) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
f) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to national security?
g) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.

a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
c) Invest a portion of Social Security assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of United States Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower the annual cost-of-living increases.
f) Raise the retirement age for when individuals are eligible to receive full Social Security benefits.
Xg) Other of expanded principles

Social Security is solemn promise that must be kept and I will ensure Congress preserves that sacred trust. Middle aged workers and seniors have made plans relying on Social Security, and we must not change the rules for them. As a Senator, I will fight for the economic security of Florida's seniors. For younger workers just entering the workforce, I support legislation that would give them the choice of investing a portion of their Social Security in a safe private investment account.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology and communication.

a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
b) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement regulation of Internet content.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
e) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
f) Support legislation to detail how personal information can be collected and used on the Internet.
g) Regulating the Internet is not a responsibility of the federal government.
h) Impose regulations on "spam" emails.
Xi) Other or expanded principles

Encouraging a strong high technology sector is an important national priority. We must provide research and development incentives to maintain our technological edge. We need a strong education policy to provide skilled workers for the high tech industry. I support MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) and ATP (Advanced Technology Program) funding to facilitate technological developments. I oppose tax increases including internet access tax.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.

a) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
b) Increase funding for child care programs.
c) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
d) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
f) Support housing assistance for low-income families.
Xg) Other or expanded principles

As Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, I was in charge of housing assistance for low-income families. I was proud to support these programs as well as direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based and other non-profit organizations.

On an attached page, disk, or via email, 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.

· Stand resolute in winning the war on terror and supporting our troops.
· Make the tax cuts permanent.
· Fight for Florida's fair share.