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What is the Political Courage Test?

Congressional 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.

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.
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 to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

Support family plannings to decrease the number of abortions in the US.

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.

Budget Priorities

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

q) Greatly increase: Health Care

Defense Spending

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

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

Greatly Decreasea) Less than $25,000
Slightly Decreaseb) $25,000-$75,000
Maintain Statusc) $75,000-$150,000
Slightly Increased) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories

Retiree Income

Maintain Statusf) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories

Other Taxes:

Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Increasef) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories

close corporate tax loopholes

Deductions/Credits:

Maintain Statusa) Charitable contributions
Slightly Increaseb) Child tax credit
Greatly Increasec) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Statusd) Medical expense deduction
Maintain Statuse) Mortgage deduction
Slightly Increasef) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories
No4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
No5) Do you support making President Bush's tax cuts permanent?
6) Discuss your proposals for balancing the federal budget. (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)

The Bush tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthiest taxpayers should be eliminated. A major effort should also be made to close corporate tax loopholes. Over the next decade these two proposals would save trillions of dollars. Working families do need tax relief, and we should attempt to ease the tax burden on them. Provisions that help these families, such as the child tax credit and marriage penalty relief, should be preserved.

7) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) 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.
Xc) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
e) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
Xf) Require Section 527 organizations to register with the Federal Election Commission as Political Action Committees.
g) Do you support instant run-off voting?
h) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
Noi) Do you support a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman?
j) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
Xb) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with educational, vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
Xe) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xf) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
g) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of corporate crimes.
Xh) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xb) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Xd) Allow doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xe) 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."
g) Support a federal law to standardize testing and penalties for steroid use in professional sports.
h) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) 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.
Xd) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
Xe) Reward teachers with merit pay for working in low-income schools.
Xf) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
Xg) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
Xh) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
Xi) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
j) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
Xb) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Provide tax credits or grants to businesses that offer child care services to employees.
Xd) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
e) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
Xf) Increase the federal minimum wage.
Xg) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
Xh) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
Xc) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) Other or expanded principles

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.
c) Support Clear Skies Act to reduce power plant emissions by setting a national cap on pollutants.
d) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
e) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
f) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
g) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
Xh) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
i) Support opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
Xj) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
k) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
l) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
Xm) Support the Kyoto Protocol to limit global warming.
n) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Reauthorize the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
Xb) 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.
Xf) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
Xg) Require a license for gun possession.
h) Other or expanded principles

child-safety lock requirement -- SUPPORT

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

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
Xb) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
d) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xe) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Xf) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
Xg) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
Xh) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
Xi) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
j) Other or expanded principles

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.
Xc) Support a temporary worker program that would enable illegal immigrants to work in the United States legally.
Xd) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using government funded social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
f) Other or expanded principles

Support earned legalization program for illegal immigrants already woking in the U.S. They would have to work, pay fines and taxes, submit to a background check, and register for legal status.

International Aid

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

Xa) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) 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) International Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

Aid should encourage human rights, democracy promotion and advance America's interests globally.

International Policy

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

Yesa) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
Yesb) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesc) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
Nod) Should the United States send more troops to Iraq?
e) Discuss your proposals for an exit strategy in Iraq. (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)

In 2005, I called for American troops to begin to withdraw from Iraq. Our overwhelming military presence has inflamed the insurgency. Our troops have become a crutch for the Iraqis. If we want Iraq to succeed, the Iraqis must begin to take responsibility for their own future. The Iraqi government must make its own decisions, make necessary compromises to avoid full-scale civil war, and take responsibility for its own future.....

f) Other or expanded principles

The Israeli people have the right to live in peace within safe and secure borders side by side with a Palestinian state that accepts Israel's right to exist and fully renounces terrorism.

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

Yesa) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
Nob) Should the United States use military force to dismantle the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
Noc) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
Yesd) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
Yese) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles

This Administration's policy on North Korea has made American less safe. On the Bush Administration's watch, North Korea's nuclear arsenal has increased four-fold. America needs to work harder with the international community and our allies in the region to bring North Korea back from the brink. Since the issue so clearly affects our own security, it obviously makes sense for the Administration to hold direct talks with North Korea.
(for Afghanistan part)....

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

Yesa) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
Nob) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
Yesc) Should the United States commit troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions?
d) Other or expanded principles
Yes4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
No5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs?"
Yes6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles

International Trade

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

Yes1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No2) Do you support the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?
Yes3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Yes4) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes5) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
No6) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
Yes7) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
8) Other or expanded principles

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

Undecideda) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
b) 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?
c) 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?
Yese) Do you support the prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in U.S. custody?
Yesf) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security?
g) Other or expanded principles

But only in instances where there is clear and compelling evidence that such country poses an imminent threat to U.S. National Security.

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 individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Other of expanded principles

The cap on the amount of income subject to the payroll tax should be increased so that high income individuals pay their fair share to support Social Security.

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

a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
Xb) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement government regulation of Internet content.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
Xe) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
Xf) 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) Other or expanded principles

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) 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.
Xf) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
g) Other or expanded principles
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.