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Michael A. Costello

Michael Costello's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Michael A. Costello
Office: State House (MA) - First Essex, Democratic
First Elected: 11/05/2002
Last Elected: 11/06/2012
Next Election: 2014
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Kerrin; 2 Children: Kate, Harry
Birth Date: 05/07/1965
Birth Place: Lynn, MA
Home City: Newburyport, MA
Religion: Catholic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Michael Costello refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Massachusetts State Legislative Election 2004 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.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
Xc) 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) 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.
a) Education (Higher)
b) Education (K-12)
c) Environment
d) Health care
e) Law enforcement
f) Transportation and highway infrastructure
g) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Estate taxes
f) Gasoline taxes
g) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
h) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
i) Property taxes
j) Sales taxes
k) Vehicle taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
m) Should Internet sales be taxed?
n) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Noa) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Massachusetts governors?
Nob) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Massachusetts state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Noe) 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?
Yesg) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in Massachusetts are closed?
Yesh) Should Massachusetts recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Noi) Should Massachusetts restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
Yesj) Do you support allowing out-of-state same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts?
k) Other or expanded principles
Auto Insurance Reform: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding auto insurance reform.
Xa) Distribute high-risk drivers evenly among auto insurance providers.
Xb) Increase the investigation and prosecution of auto insurance fraud.
Xc) Support increased competition between auto insurance providers in Massachusetts.
Xd) Reduce subsidies paid by good drivers to offset rate increases for bad drivers.
e) 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) Implement the death penalty in Massachusetts.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) 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.
g) 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.
a) 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.
f) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) 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.
l) Offer free public college tuition to the top quarter of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System scorers.
Xm) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
n) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
o) 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) Increase the number of weeks an individual must work in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
c) Reduce the number of weeks that individuals are eligible for unemployment benefits.
d) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xe) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xf) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xg) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xh) Include sexual orientation in Massachusetts's anti-discrimination laws.
Xi) Increase the state minimum wage.
j) 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.
b) 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 Massachusetts.
Xh) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
i) 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.
Xd) 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.
Xi) Increase funding for affordable housing programs.
j) 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.
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