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Steve Gottwalt's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Steve Gottwalt refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Minnesota State Legislative Election 2008 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.

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.
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

While preventive efforts to educate and reduce abortions are important, government has a primary obligation to protect our first and most intrinsic right: The right to life. We must respect, and government must protect, the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. Only a small fraction of abortions are ever "medically necessary" to spare the mother. 97 percent of abortions represent the brutal and painful destruction of an infant because his or her life is inconvenient. I oppose taxpayer funding for abortions, and note that the number of taxpayer funded abortions is rising in Minnesota.

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

At a time when individuals, families and businesses are struggling to make ends meet through the toughest economic times in a generation, government must set sound priorities and live within its means instead of raising taxes. This biennium, the legislature grew state spending 10 percent -- beyond inflation and pay increases. I would prioritize spending to focus on preserving essential services, and helping the most needy and vulnerable. My top three priorities are: Economic Development to retain and grow good paying jobs; Education excellence, achievement and accountability; and real, sustainable Health Care Reform.

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.
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Cigarette taxes
c) Corporate taxes
d) Gasoline taxes
e) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
f) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
g) Property taxes
h) Sales taxes
i) Vehicle taxes
j) Other or expanded categories

We cannot tax our way to prosperity. At a time when individuals, families and businesses are struggling to make ends meet through the toughest economic times in a generation, government must set sound priorities and live within its means instead of raising taxes. This biennium, the legislature grew state spending 10 percent -- beyond inflation and pay increases. I will seek budget cuts and greater efficiencies to balance Minnesota's projected budget deficit instead of job-killing tax increases that hurt our families and job-creators.

1) Should state sales taxes be extended to Internet sales?
2) Should accounts such as a "rainy day" fund be used to balance the state budget?
3) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
4) Other or expanded principles

At a time when individuals, families and businesses are struggling to make ends meet through the toughest economic times in a generation, government must set sound priorities and live within its means instead of raising taxes. So-called "rainy day" funds might help balance the budget in the short-term, but consist of one-time money. Our current economic downturn is expected to last for some time, and it is vitally important that we develop a sustainable state budget based on sound priorities.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Minnesota governors?
Yesb) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Minnesota 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 Minnesota participate in the federal REAL ID program?
Nog) Should Minnesota allow homeowners whose mortgage is in foreclosure a one-year deferment on their primary residence?
h) Other or expanded principles
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 Minnesota.
c) 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) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
f) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
g) Support state and local law enforcement officials enforcing federal immigration laws.
h) Support hate crime legislation.
i) Other or expanded principles

Our law enforcement authorities deserve our respect and support, and I will continue supporting public safety in state policy and funding.

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.
Xh) 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 Minnesota to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
k) Other or expanded principles

Education excellence is vital to Minnesota's future! I have consistently supported adequate and equitable funding for our schools, including early childhood, special education, K-12, and higher education. Beyond funding, we must embrace reform in our education system, focused on rigor and relevance, for world class outcomes. Teachers need our help, and deserve to be treated as professionals, paid more for performance and excellence than for longevity. I oppose arbitrary No Child Left Behind provisions, and support reasonable accountability and outcomes measures. Parents/guardians have the single greatest impact on children's academic achievement, and state policy must reflect conscious collaboration with them.

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.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector.
Xc) 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) Increase the state minimum wage.
g) 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.
j) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
k) Other or expanded principles

Minnesota's business tax and regulatory climate is ranked in the bottom 10 percent nationally. This is killing jobs at the very time when we need to grow our economy and expand economic opportunity. Neighboring states are using this to actively steal jobs from Minnesota. We must ease the tax and regulatory burden on Minnesota's job creators if we hope to turn around our economy and develop sustainable economic prosperity.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
Xb) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil, etc).
c) 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 Minnesota's power generating and transmission facilities.
f) Support funding for open space preservation.
g) 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

We need an "all of the above" approach to developing clean, sustainable domestic energy resources, and weening ourselves from addiction to foreign energy. I supported Minnesota's nation leading 25/25 renewable energy plan, while arguing for common sense to avoid massive, job-killing increases in energy costs. I will also push to lift the state's moratorium on discussing new, safe, clean nuclear energy for Minnesota.

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

I support our 2nd Amendment rights. It is a mistake to place greater regulatory burdens on law abiding gun owners, allowing criminals (who disregard the law) to prey upon citizens, and hampering the legitimate pursuits of hunters, competitive and recreational shooters, and collectors.

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.
Xc) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
d) Allow patients to sue their HMOs.
e) Require hospitals and labs to release reports on infections that are a risk to public health, while not compromising patient confidentiality.
f) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Minnesota.
g) Support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
h) Other or expanded principles

I have taken a leadership role on real, sustainable health care reform addressing cost, quality and access of care for all Minnesotans. I serve on both Health and Human Services committees in the House, the Legislative Commission on Health Care Access where I co-chair the Public Health Working Group, and the Minnesota Rural Health Advisory Committee. We must "first do no harm." 97 percent of Minnesotans are covered or eligible for coverage. Our health care costs are 15 percent below the national average, and our outcomes make us the healthiest state in the nation. We need incremental reforms for improvement.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
a) Should Minnesota recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
b) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
c) Should Minnesota 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?
f) 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?
h) Should the state government consider race and gender in state government contracting and hiring decisions?
i) Do you support affirmative action in public college admissions?
j) Should Minnesota continue affirmative action programs?
Yesk) 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

Marriage, the foundation of family and society, must be respected and maintained as the union between one man and one woman only.

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) Jobs and Economic Recovery/Prosperity
2) Balancing the State Budget through reprioritization of spending, not tax increases
3) Real, Sustainable Health Care Reform (cost, quality and access)
4) Education Excellence in Achievement and Outcomes

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