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Robert Shelstrom's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Robert Shelstrom has demonstrated Political Courage by telling citizens where he stands on the issues he may face if elected.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Illinois State Legislative Election 2012 Political Courage Test

Pro-lifea) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Nob) Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?
Noc) 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?
Yese) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesf) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesg) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
Yesh) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
i) Other or expanded principles:

The incest or rape issue is a tough one. We cannot kill a child for the sins of the mother or father. There may be cases, however, where the trauma of childbirth may be so medically and psychologically dangerous to the mother that an abortion may be necessary to prevent suicide or other serious mentalor physical disorder. Those situations must be decided on a case by case basis.

1) State Spending:
Using the key, 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.
Slightly Decreasea) Education (higher)
Maintain Statusb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Decreasec) Environment
Slightly Increased) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement/corrections
Slightly Decreasef) Transportation/infrastructure
Greatly Decreaseg) Welfare
Eliminateh) Other or expanded categories:

Grants, member initiatives, legislator pensions, and capital projects not required for public safety. We should be eliminating on all "wants" in the budget to ensure proper funding of needs until this fiscal crisis is over.

2) State Taxes:
Using the key,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.
Greatly Decreasea) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decreaseb) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Decreasec) Corporate taxes
Greatly Decreased) Gas/Oil taxes
Greatly Decreasee) Property taxes
Greatly Decreasef) Sales taxes
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseh) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Greatly Decreasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Eliminatej) Other or expanded categories:

Workman's compensatiion costs should be reduced to adjacent state levels, fees on certain businesses, like the ones that drove the trucking business out of Illinois, should be rolled back to competitive levels.

3) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Illinois's budget.
Yesa) Establishing a "rainy day" fund
Nob) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Yesc) Reducing or eliminating public worker collective bargaining
Nod) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
Yese) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
f) Other or expanded principles:

Our public universities have become incredibly overstaffed, overpriced, and unaffordable to many of the citizens of Illinois. We need to change the culture of our public unversities from one of entitlement for its bureaucracy to one of service to the students. We need to be smarter about how we spend university resources. We need to shift more research costs to the primary governmental or industrial beneficiaries of the research. We need to devote more resources to undergraduate instruction, and minimize the use of TAs who can barely speak English and have little concern for students.

4) Public Pensions:
To mitigate Illinois's public pension shortfall, do you support:
Yesa) Raising the retirement age for current and future employees?
Yesb) Increasing employee contributions by current and future employees?
Yesc) Reducing cost-of-living adjustments for current and future employees?
d) Other or expanded principles:

We need to base pensions on career long contributiosn to the pensin system, not just the "spiked" last four years of career. We need to minimize benefits, including COLA and Health insurance, for employees using public pensions as subsidies for "second careers". WE need to prohibit getting a penios from one government, then getting another government job, or work as a government consultant, for another governmental body. We need to protect those public employees who are truly retired, not those still working and using pensions as supplementary income.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
No1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
No3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Party
Yes5) Legislative Leader
Nob) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesd) Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
Yese) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
Yesf) Do you support term limits for state legislators?
g) Other or expanded principles:

Contributions should not be controlled,, but contribitutions should be limited to individual candidates and transfers between campaign funds should not be allowed. Also, candiates taking more than $500 from a contributor should be forced to abstain from votes directly benefiting that contributor.

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) Do you support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
Yesd) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
Noe) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Yesf) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
g) Other or expanded principles:

I don't believe the state should have the right to take the lives of its citizens. This is the ultimate denial of liberty. It also requries absolute faith in our justice system. I have no such faith.

There needs to be discretion in prosection of minors for "violent" crimes. A six year old getting into a "no harm" fist fight at school should be disciplined by parents, not the state. A 12 year old shooting someone with a gun SHOULD be prosecuted as an adult.

Yesa) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Nob) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Noc) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Nod) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Noe) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
Nof) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Yesg) Should video gambling be legal in Illinois?
h) Other or expanded principles:

Job training seems to benefit those providing the srvice more than those receiving them. Jobs that require a government subsidy to exist probably don't have the value to be sustained after the subsidy is gone. It costs about $600,000 to create each heavy construction infrastructure job because such jobs are material and equipment intensive. Modifying tax code to encourage labor intensive servie industry jobs creates six times the number of jobs for the same "investment". Those in foreclosure shoudl be resonsible for the risk they took, and losses should not burden innocent taxpayers.

Yesa) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
Yesb) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
Noc) Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?
Yesd) Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?
Yese) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Nof) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Nog) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Illinois high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles:

Teacher pay should be reformed to match civil service standards; earned increases in job grade should be required to get raises above COLA. The collegeiate institutions themselves should be responsible for provide loans to students. It gives than and additional incentive to make them succeed, and provides a DISINCENTIVE for them to use financial aid as a revenue source to be exploited as are the students. Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to attend state or Federal subsidized universities until they earn legal status here.

Noa) 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)?
Noc) Do you support state funding for improvements to Illinois's energy infrastructure?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Noe) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
f) Other or expanded principles:

If alernative energy innovations have merit, they should proceed with private financing. Energy promotion is not a state responsibility. Open space, used in parks and for a publically accessible asset, is a fair expenditure...once ALL other state obligations have been addressed. Man made climate change is questionable at best, and is a global, not a stae, issue. Too often "climate change" is used as an excuse fro non-productive, ineffective and corrupt spending practices.

Yesa) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesc) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Should a license be required for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles:

We need to keep guns out of the hand of criminals and ensure those legitimate gun owners are well trained in weapon safety. EVERY adult non-criminal citizen of this country should have the right to own a weapon to protect themselves, their property and their families from threats foreign and domestic.

Yesa) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yesc) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Nod) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Yese) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yesf) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
g) Other or expanded principles:

People who wish to own health insurance should be able to do so at fair rates for their condition. NO one should be dropped from insurance because of employment termination. People who lost their insurance through loss of employement should be able to continue to be insured in "pool coverage" provided by the carrier as long as they continue paying premiums, regardless of health needs.

Yesa) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Nob) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
Noc) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Illinois's anti-discrimination laws?
Nod) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Illinois's anti-discrimination laws?
e) Other or expanded principles:
In the following area, on an attached page, or via e-mail, 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.

We need to reform our pension system to provide for fair resources for public employees when they choose to stop working at a reasonable age. They should receive benefits based on lifelong contributions, NOT just four "spiked" years. We need to make the pension system truly a retirement system, not a subsidy for a pensioner's second career in another government body or consultant to their previous government employer.

We need to make our tax code and business expense comparable to adjacent states and make the system the same for EVERY business, not just fat cat political contributors.

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