Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Russ Carnahan 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?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

Missouri Congressional 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.

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.
Xc) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester.
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) Dilation and extraction or "partial-birth" abortion procedures should be legal.
g) Medicare, Medicaid, and federal subsidies should be prohibited from being used on abortion procedures.
h) Other or expanded principles.

Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.

1) Budget Priorities

Slightly Increasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Increasec) Defense
Slightly Increased) Education
Greatly Increasee) Environment
Greatly Increasef) FEMA
Greatly Increaseg) Homeland security
Slightly Increaseh) International aid
Slightly Increasei) Law enforcement (Federal)
Slightly Increasej) Law enforcement (State)
Slightly Increasek) Medical research
Maintain Statusl) National parks
Slightly Increasem) Public health services
Slightly Increasen) Scientific research
Maintain Statuso) Space exploration programs
Slightly Increasep) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusq) United Nations
Slightly Increaser) Welfare
s) Other or expanded categories

2) Defense Spending

Slightly Increasea) Armed forces personnel training
Slightly Increaseb) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increasec) Military hardware
Slightly Increased) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Maintain Statuse) National missile defense
Slightly Increasef) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Increaseg) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Slightly Increaseh) Research and development of new weapons
Slightly Increasei) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories

3) Taxes

Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.

Family Income Taxes

a) Less than $12,000
b) $12,001-$40,000
c) $40,001-$100,000
d) $100,001-$180,000
e) $180,001-$350,000
f) $350,001 and above
g) Other or expanded categories

decrease burden on middle class

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

Maintain Statusa) Charitable contribution deduction
Maintain Statusb) Child tax credit
Maintain Statusc) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Statusd) Medical expense deduction
Maintain Statuse) Mortgage deduction
Maintain Statusf) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories
4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
5) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
6) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
b) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
c) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
d) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
e) Support prohibiting ads containing candidates' name that are paid for by third parties from airing 60 days before a primary and 30 days before a general federal election.
f) Support instant run-off voting (IRV).
Xg) Support designating Election Day as a national holiday.
h) Support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations.
Xi) Support limiting the President's use of signing statements in order to prevent an alternative interpretation of the bill.
Xj) Support a federal shield law to protect reporter-source privilege.
k) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
f) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xg) Support strict penalties for internet crime (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
Xh) Require that crimes based on sexual orientation be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Support the federal government funding universal pre-K programs.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Allow teachers and professionals to receive federal funding to establish charter or magnet schools.
Xe) Increase funding for the Pell Grant program.
Xf) Decrease interest rates of Stafford Loans.
Xg) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
Xh) Ban university financial aid officers from owning stock in or accepting gifts from student loan lenders.
Xi) Require universities to disclose financial relationships with lenders.
j) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
k) Eliminate all federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
l) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Increase funding for national job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector.
Xc) Encourage employers to offer child care services, flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
d) Increase the federal minimum wage.
Xe) Support the right of workers to unionize.
f) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
Xg) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
Xh) Include gender identity in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles

Supported the current raise in federal minimum wage

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

Xa) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
Xb) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
Xc) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
Xd) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
e) Strengthen fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
f) Support domestic oil exploration in areas that are currently restricted.
Xg) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels.
Xh) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
i) Support research and development of nuclear reactors as an alternative energy source.
j) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits under "cap and trade" laws.
Xk) Support international mandatory emission targets to limit global warming.
Xl) Support international voluntary emission targets to limit global warming.
m) Other or expanded principles

Open to research of all energy sources, that can be safely produced and expended.

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

a) Allow individuals to carry concealed guns.
b) Ban the sale, ownership or possession of handguns except by law enforcement and other government officials.

On (c) and (d), indicate what levels (#1-6) you support for the following categories.

Maintain Statusc) Enforcement of existing restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Maintain Statusd) Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Other or expanded principles

Focus on those who purchase and/or use firearms illegally.

Protect the rights of sportsmen and women.

Encourage responsible use of firearms and safety measures.

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

a) Implement a universal healthcare program to guarantee coverage to all Americans, regardless of income.
b) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
Xc) Allow the importation of prescription drugs into the United States.
Xd) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Xe) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
Xf) Support expanding child healthcare programs.
g) Providing healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government.
h) Other or expanded principles

Support pool coverage approaches to lessen the cost of healthcare for small businesses and individuals that are self-employed and/or without insurance.

Work to cover more individuals to lessen the costs of healthcare, by providing greater access to preventive front end treatments, instead of hospital emergent care for primary care.

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) Support a temporary worker program.
Xd) Support harsher financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
f) Illegal immigrants should have to return to their countries of origin before being considered for citizenship.
g) Illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship.
h) Support merit-based visas over family-based visas.
i) Other or expanded principles

I am greatly concerned that we need to do more to secure our borders with the use of technology and enforcement of laws that already exist. We must be firm in our resolve that we don't reward individuals who do not play by the rules.

International Aid

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

Xa) Support the United States granting aid to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) Support the United States granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
Xc) Eliminate United States aid for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Aid granted by the United States should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

c) except under the most unusual circumstance of disaster that might warrant aid for immediate humane relief.

International Policy

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

Yesa) 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 impose greater international sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
d) Should the United States support the Lebanese government against insurgent forces?
e) Should the United States maintain its troop levels in Iraq?
Yesf) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
g) Discuss your proposals for Iraq.

We must totally redefine our mission and diplomatic approaches to handling problems in the Middle East and Iraq. We cannot sustain indefinite troop deployments as they exist in Iraq. We also have to understand the ratio of injuries and casualties suggest very real long term costs to the troop strength of our military.

I remain very concerned by the often wreckless approach to diplomacy being taken by the Bush Administration and the placing and leaving of our troops in harms way. Not withstanding the total costs of war and its devestating effect on our nations overall economy and world standing.

Undecidedh) Should the United States apply greater economic and diplomatic sanctions against North Korea if it fails to abide by its agreement to suspend its nuclear program?
Yesi) Should the United States increase financial support for Afghanistan?
Yesj) Should the United States increase military support for Afghanistan?
k) Should the United States trade nuclear fuel to India for civilian purposes?
l) Should the United States decrease financial support for Pakistan?
m) Should the United States decrease military support for Pakistan?
Yesn) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in Darfur, Sudan?
Yeso) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
p) Should the United States provide economic and military support to the Transitional Government of Somalia?
Yesq) Should the United States use sanctions to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to end its human rights abuses?
r) Should the United States support the creation of an independent nation of Kosovo?
s) Other or expanded principles

International Trade

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

a) Do you support the United States imposing economic sanctions on China?
Undecidedb) Do you support the United States imposing trade sanctions on Venezuela?
Undecidedc) Do you support the United States involvement in free trade agreements?
Undecidedd) Do you support the United States involvement in intergovernmental organizations dedicated to trade?
e) Other or expanded principles

I believe the approach to trade varies by administration, and I thereby reserve judgement or speculation in regard to many negotiated trade deals that have yet to surface and/or are party to the Bush Administration.

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 law enforcement agencies have greater discretion to monitor domestic communications, to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yesc) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Yesd) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
Undecidede) Do you support pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to United States national security?
Nof) Do you support the creation of a federal identification card system?
Nog) Do you support long-term use of National Guard troops to supplement the armed forces in assignments overseas?
Undecidedh) Should the United States expand its missile defense shield?
i) Other or expanded principles

a) I believe the United States must do more to provide justice while maintaining security in order to re-establish our position worldwide as a nation of laws and recognized for our preservation of human rights.

b) They already have ample discretion

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.

a) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
b) Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for research on existing embryonic stem cell lines?
d) Do you support federal funding to create lines of stem cells from new embryos?
Yese) Should the federal government consider race and gender in government contracting decisions?
Yesf) Should the federal government continue affirmative action programs?
Undecidedg) Should the federal government regulate internet gambling?
h) 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 that they manage themselves.
b) Ensure the viability of Social Security by increasing the payroll tax.
c) Decrease benefits paid to retirees.
Xd) Support proportional increases of Social Security benefits based on the cost of living index.
e) Raise the retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
f) Other or expanded principles

We must examine how this administration took a surplus and basically erased it within a six year period, and hold them accountable.

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.
Xb) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
Xc) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
d) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
e) Other or expanded principles

a) in most cases I would be supportive, but not those dealing with disabilities or extreme hardship.

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.

Re-establish the United States position and world standing.

Continue to work to end the ongoing War in Iraq and invest in our troops and veterans.

Establish greater health care coverage for those uninsured.

Help establish a nationwide public warning system that can be of use for both natural and man-made disasters.

Continue to foster diplomatic efforts to help insure a safer world.

Eliminate tax breaks for big oil companies making record setting profits at the cost of consumers.