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Belinda Gerry's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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What is the Political Courage Test?

Maine State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage 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.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xb) 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) Abortions should be subject to a mandatory waiting period.
Xg) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles

b) Abortions should always be legal but with some conditions and restrictions attached. g) A minor’s guardian, parent if possible, or safe responsible family member should know about the abortion and also be there for them.
h) I do not support late term abortions, abortions for gender selection or as a means of birth control.

State Budget: Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
Slightly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Slightly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increasec) Emergency preparedness
Slightly Increased) Environment
Slightly Increasee) Health care
Maintain Statusf) Law enforcement
Slightly Increaseg) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Slightly Increaseh) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories

Given the financial conditions of the U.S. Government, our State, cities or towns and the uncertainty of the future we can not afford to allow state spending to go unchecked or as if money was no object. We cannot (as much as I may like) greatly increase all of these individual budget line items with money we do not have or fund them through gimmicks, new fees and taxes or through raiding more solvent state program accounts. I realized they need at least a minimum of a cost of living type of an increase or raise of due to inflation.

State Taxes: Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category, you can use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreased) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasee) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Greatly Decreaseg) Property taxes
Slightly Decreaseh) Sales taxes
Slightly Decreasei) Vehicle taxes
Slightly Decreasej) Other or expanded categories

i) Vehicle tax fees that are paid each year should correspond to the vehicle’s worth as it depreciates. It then, after say 10 years, should probably be capped at a reasonable rate for the life of the car.

Undecided1) Should state sales taxes be extended to Internet sales?
No2) Should accounts such as a "rainy day" fund be used to balance the state budget?
No3) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
No4) Should state funding to local school districts be reduced to help balance the state budget?
5) Other or expanded principles

Maine’s whole tax system should be reviewed, updated and some taxes be reduced and eliminated in order for us to be as competitive as our neighboring states. Mainers need real tax relief. We need to generate other revenue sources and depend less on people’s property and income taxes.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of terms for Maine governors?
Yesb) Do you support the current limit of terms for Maine state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yese) Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?
Undecidedf) Should Maine participate in the federal REAL ID program?
g) Other or expanded principles

I support The Maine Clean Elections Fund.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Establish the death penalty in Maine.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
e) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xf) Support state and local law enforcement officials enforcing federal immigration laws.
Xg) Support hate crime legislation.
h) Other or expanded principles

d)I support implementation of penalties other than incarceration for certain 1st time non-violent offenders (other than for children/adult sex offenders).

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support state funding of universal pre-K programs.
b) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
Xc) Support state education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students.
Xd) Support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xe) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
Xf) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
g) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
h) Support using a merit pay system for teachers.
Xi) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
j) Support allowing illegal immigrant high school graduates of Maine to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
k) Other or expanded principles

e) & f) I support school vouchers as long as they are the same dollar amount that are used to educate students in regular school classrooms and the parents pay the difference if where they choose to send their child whether private or religious cost more. Also the parents will have to factor is their own means of transporting the student to and from class. a) I also support full funding for our Head start pre-K programs.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector.
Xc) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xf) Increase the state minimum wage.
Xg) Support laws that prevent employers from dismissing employees at will.
Xh) Support financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
Xi) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xj) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
k) Other or expanded principles

c) More tax incentives/credits should be given to Maine family owned businesses and for businesses started by Students just graduating from college as a means to keep our young people here.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil, etc).
Xc) Support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops.
d) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xe) Support funding for improvements to Maine's power generating and transmission facilities.
Xf) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xg) Limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
h) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
i) Other or expanded principles

When an owner of an industrial and commercial site decides to close down their operation before they are permitted to do so the site should be tested. If any contaminates are found they & or their insurance coverage should be made to clean up any contaminated by-products left on their property not the state.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Yesa) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesb) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Yesc) Should a license be required for gun possession?
Yesd) Do you support current levels of enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yese) Do you support current state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
f) Other or expanded principles

b) If a person passes a background check and has a license and permit to carry a concealed gun then they should be allowed to carry them. As long as they are carried in areas that they are permitted.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
Xa) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
c) Support Dirigo Health in Maine.
d) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
e) Allow patients to sue their HMOs.
Xf) Require hospitals and labs to release reports on infections that are a risk to public health, while not compromising patient confidentiality.
g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Maine.
Xh) Support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
i) Other or expanded principles

c) I support the concept of Dirigo Health care. At the present time I feel that there are several flaws that need to addressed to make it a better program. d) I support managed care as long as it is not rationed care and people get the medical treatment they need. h) As long as state law currently allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Noa) Should Maine recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Nob) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Noc) Should Maine provide state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples?
Yesd) Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?
Yese) Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?
Yesf) Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Yesg) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
Noh) Should the state government consider race and gender in state government contracting and hiring decisions?
Noi) Do you support affirmative action in public college admissions?
Noj) Should Maine continue affirmative action programs?
Nok) Do you support state funding of stem cell research?
Nol) Do you support state funding of embryonic stem cell research?
Yesm) Do you support allowing pharmacists who conscientiously object to emergency contraception to refuse to dispense it?
n) Other or expanded principles

f) If sex education is taught in school like in life science class I support it. If the information is taught in a clinic and condoms or birth control pills given out without parent/guardian permission then no.

Legislative Priorities
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.

1) High Energy Costs – Gasoline, heating oil and electricity. My 1st priority is to get the word out on present programs or grants and incentives that people can take part in now before winter sets in...My 2nd priority will be to help find additional funds to meet the needs of those who can't afford heating oil or other means to...

2) All Mainers need to have access to good medical coverage at affordable rates. Dirigo Health insurance program has fallen short in many critical areas. My 3rd priority is to deal with these issues that need to be corrected...

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