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Roger Koopman's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: Public Service Commissioner (MT) - District 3, Republican
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What is the Political Courage Test?

Montana State Legislative Election 2006 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.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
Xa) 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.
Xf) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
Xg) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles

It is the constitutional role of government to protect and defend life, from one's first breath until their last. During a crisis pregnancy, both the mother and her child deserve our active and loving support.

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) Emergency preparedness
d) Environment
e) Health care
f) Law enforcement
g) Transportation and highway infrastructure
h) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories

These categories are too broad to answer this way. A legislator must evaluate specific proposals. My basic belief is that government can be better without being more expensive . I support full and adequate funding of the constitutional functions of government, and the gradual elimination of welfare state functions that increase dependency and destroy human dignity.

State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.
Slightly Decreasea) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Decreaseb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decreased) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasee) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Slightly Decreaseh) Property taxes
Slightly Decreasei) Vehicle taxes
j) Other or expanded categories

Eliminate: water adjudication tax

Nok) Should the state tax Internet sales?
Nol) Should accounts such as a “rainy day” fund be used to balance the state budget?
Nom) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
n) Other or expanded principles

Surplus tax collections should be returned to the people through tax relief, not used to expand government. Budget defecits should be covered through spending reductions, no tax increases.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of terms for Montana governors?
Yesb) Do you support the current limit of terms for Montana state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
No1) Individual
No2) PAC
No3) Corporate
No4) 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 media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in Montana are closed?
Noh) Should Montana recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
i) Other or expanded principles

I personally dislike high priced campaigns. But contribution and spending limits unfairly benefit incumbents and hurt challengers. As long as there is full disclosure, the voters have the final say as to whether a particular candidate is raising or spending too much.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
Xb) Support the death penalty in Montana.
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.
f) 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.
i) Require that crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation be prosecuted as hate crimes.
j) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
k) Increase state funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent or respond to terrorism.
Xl) Strengthen sex-offender laws.
m) Support the restriction of the sale of products used to make methamphetamine (e.g. tablets containing pseudophedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine).
Xn) Support the Montana Meth Project and similar initiatives.
o) Other or expanded principles

Punishment for serious crimes must be swift and sure. Plea bargaining and probation should be severely limited. For certain crimes, restitution to the victim is far better than costly imprisonment.

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.
d) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
e) Increase funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xf) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
Xg) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
Xh) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
j) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
l) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
n) Other or expanded principles

Montana needs to be open to education reform. School funding should be results-based, and should be a tool for accountability and improvement - not a reward for failure. Deregulation and local control are essential. Public policy must encourage competition, innovation and both public and private school choice.

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
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.
f) Include sexual orientation in Montana's anti-discrimination laws.
g) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles

Employment relationships should be at will, not defined by government bureaucracy. The more free and unregulated the economy, the more high-paying jobs are created. If we want our sons and daughters to remain in Montana, we must lift the burden of too much government control from our economy.

Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies’ decisions on:
Noa) Public employment
Nob) State college and university admissions
Noc) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

Montanans believe in equal opportunity, But Affirmative Action is social enginering through state-sponsered discrimination. It is an injustice that ends up hurting everyone.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
a) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
c) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
d) Increase funding for improvements to Montana's power generating and transmission facilities.
e) Support funding for open space preservation.
f) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
g) Support the sale of federal lands in Montana to fund the Secure Rural Schools Act.
h) Support the development of coal-to-liquids technology to create synthetic fuels in Montana.
i) Require that water withdrawn from coal bed wells be injected back into the aquifers or treated before being discharged into rivers and streams.
j) Other or expanded principles

It isn't clear what is meant by "promote", "support", etc. I support industry developing new technologies through their own initiative and funding, not by government subsidies and inducements that burn tax dollars and distort the market.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
a) 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.
Xc) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Xd) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
e) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
f) Require a license for gun possession.
g) Other or expanded principles

I am an unequivical supporter of the right to own firearms, including for hunting and self defense. The law-abiding use and possession of firearms is a guaranteed constitutional right of all Americans. I oppose any governmental infringement on that right.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Transfer current Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
Xc) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
d) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
f) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Montana.
g) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
h) Other or expanded principles

Both government regulation and government funding of healthcare drive up consumer cost and make private insurance unaffordable for many. Allowing more market competition and choice will make health care better and more affordable. Medical savings plans should be encouraged.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
Xa) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
b) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
c) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
e) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
Xf) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
Xg) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
h) Other or expanded principles

Elimination of tax-funded welfare programs, and the entitlement mentality that often accompanies them, is the most humane public policy in the long run, fostering personal responsibility, independence, and a spirit of charity among our citizens. However, the programs must be scaled back on a gradual basis to avoid unneccesary hardship in the short term.

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.

(1) Serving the specific needs of my district, whether helping an individual constituent or promoting a district-wide cause like Highway 191 safety. (2) Insisting on government that is better, not bigger, that operates with a businesslike efficiency and takes far less of our family incomes. (3) Establishing liberty as the first objective of the legislative process, rejecting all law that diminishes freedom and independence, thus building Montana's future on limited government, lower taxes and personal responsibility.

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