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Richard McCormack's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: State Senate (VT) - Windsor, Democratic
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What is the Political Courage Test?

Vermont State Legislative Election 2010 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.

Pro-choicea) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Noe) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Nof) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesg) Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Noh) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
i) Other or expanded principles
1) State Spending
Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Education (higher)
Maintain Statusb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increasec) Environment
Greatly Increased) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusf) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
2) State Taxes
Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.
Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increasec) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increased) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasee) Property taxes
Maintain Statusf) Sales taxes
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
j) Other or expanded categories
3) Budget Stabilization
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Vermont's budget.
Yesa) Tapping into Vermont's "rainy day" fund
Yesb) Issuing the early release of certain non-violent offenders
Noc) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Nod) Instituting mandatory furloughs and layoffs for state employees
Noe) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
Nof) Privatizing certain government services
g) Other or expanded principles

Reduce the number of high level positions and rduce the salaries of those remaining.

Yesa) Do you support the use of instant runoff voting for Vermont elections?
Nob) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Vermont governors?
Noc) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Vermont state legislators?
d) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions to candidates for state government?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Party
Yese) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yesf) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
g) Other or expanded principles
Noa) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
Yesc) Should the possession of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized?
d) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
e) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Nof) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
g) Other or expanded principles

My answers to both of questions pertaining to minors depend on particulars not described in the questions as worded.

a) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesb) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Noc) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
d) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
e) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
f) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
g) Other or expanded principles

a) I support reducing regulations in some cases and increasing it in others. I wish there more government, lots more government, on Wall Street and in the Gulf of Mexico.

d, e, f) Not at the state level. Such federal action has been troublesome but probably unavoidable under the circumstances.

a) Do you support national education standards?
b) Do you support consolidating Vermont's school districts?
Yesc) Do you support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams?
Nod) Do you support using a merit pay system for teachers?
e) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yesf) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
g) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Vermont high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles

a) This depends on what the standards are. Presuming they are fair and rigorous, yes.
b) At the pleasure of the local community.
d) A teacher should not be blamed because a student doesn't do his/her work.
e) Only if the funding is structured to not syphon money away from local public schools, and only to charter schools that meet the same legal demands made on local public schools.
g) Is this a problem in Vermont?

Yesa) Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?
Nob) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
Yesc) Do you support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for improvements to Vermont's energy infrastructure?
Yese) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yesf) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
g) Other or expanded principles
Noa) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you support requiring background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesc) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Nod) Do you support requiring a license for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles

Vermont is one of the two or three safest states in the nation. We don't have a gun problem. Vermont being a rural state, gun ownership is very important to many of our people. So my view is "don't fix it if it ain't broken." I see no need for gun control in Vermont. That said, I do support laws requiring that guns be kept away from unsupervised children and that schools be gun-free.

Yesa) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Nob) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
c) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Nod) Should individuals be required to purchase health care insurance?
Noe) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yesf) Do you support legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Vermont?
Yesg) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles

c) It depends on the terms of the compact.
e) I continue to trust the jury system. Bizarre and exceptional awards don't justify denying aggrieved people their day in court.
f)Technically any time someone intentionally ends his/her life it's "suicide". But I think the term is innappropriate when describing a dying person not choosing to die but choosing the time and manner of a death that is unavoidable and coming soon in any case.

Noa) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Should Vermont continue to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
Yesc) Do you support state funding for stem cell research?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Yese) Do you support the state's use of affirmative action?
Yesf) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Vermont's anti-discrimination laws?
Yesg) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Vermont's anti-discrimination laws?
h) Other or expanded principles

a) This answer refers only to civil marriage. Different religions have the right, of course, to define marriage as their doctrines dictate.
e) Affirmative action should not be allowed to degenerate into a quota system. No individual should suffer discrimination based on race, sex etc. This includes individual members of the majority.

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.

Single Payer Health Care. Universal access to quality, affordable health care can never be achieved through market forces because THERE'S NO PROFIT IN IT. We have a market system whose uglier effects we regulate, thus undermining market forces. The rest of the civilized world seeshealth care as a human right for which society is responsible.

Resist extending Vermont Yankee's license beyond its long scheduled 2012 expiration. Things wear out; cars, people, power plants. VY is falling apart as expected. We should stay with the established order. The owners mustn't stick Vermonters with decommissioning costs. Their profit? Their problem.

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