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Darren Soto's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: State Senate (FL) - District 14, Democratic Democratic Caucus Rules Chair
On The Ballot: Announced, Democratic for U.S. House - District 9
Valleri Crabtree
Dena Marie MInning
Susannah Randolph
Ricardo Rangel
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Darren Soto has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Darren Soto is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Florida State Legislative Election 2006 National Political Awareness 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.
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) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles

Right to Privacy guaranteed by the Florida Const. (Art-sec.) protects right to choose to the extent allowed by U.S. Supreme Court in Casey v. Planned Parenthood (no undue burden until post-viability) and possibly greater protection.

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.
Slightly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increasec) Environment
Maintain Statusd) Emergency preparedness
Maintain Statuse) Health care
Maintain Statusf) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusg) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statush) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories

Greatly decrease local interest projects ("pork")

State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.
Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statusf) Property taxes
Maintain Statusg) Sales taxes
Slightly Increaseh) Vehicle taxes
i) Other or expanded categories
Yesj) Should the state sales taxes be extended to Internet sales?
Yesk) Should accounts such as a "rainy day" fund be used to balance the state budget?
Yesl) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
m) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of terms for Florida governors?
Yesb) Do you support the current limit of terms for Florida state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
Yes1) Individual
No2) PAC
No3) Corporate
No4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Undecidede) Do you support the power to amend the state constitution through ballot initiative petitions?
Yesf) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yesg) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yesh) Do you support prohibiting media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in Florida are closed?
Undecidedi) Should Florida recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
j) Please list what changes (if any) you would make to lower property insurance rates. Please use forty (40) words or less.

I would support a pooling system resembling the Federal Flood Insurance Fund as supported by FL Senator Rod Smith

k) Other or expanded principles

e) I support statutory initiatives
i) should be decided by voters

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
Xb) Support the death penalty in Florida.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
Xe) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
Xf) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
g) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xi) Require that crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation be prosecuted as hate crimes.
Xj) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xk) Strengthen sex-offender laws.
Xl) Support the restriction of the sale of products used to make methamphetamine (e.g. tablets containing pseudophedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine).
m) Other or expanded principles

I believe our criminal justice system needs to treat individuals who are continually convicted of crimes related alcoholism or other substance abuse addictions as mentally ill rather than as regular criminals. I believe we must focus our tax dollars more on preventing violent crime
d) 3 strikes
f) but high civil fines

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
Xb) Support a constitutional amendment to provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Support a constitutional amendment to provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
Xe) Increase funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xf) Require that 65 percent of Florida's education funding be spent in the classroom.
Xg) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
h) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
i) Support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xj) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
k) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
Xl) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
m) Relax class-size limits for Florida public schools.
Xn) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
o) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
p) Other or expanded principles
Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers and teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
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) Support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Florida's anti-discrimination laws.
Xg) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on:
Yesa) Public employment
Yesb) State college and university admissions
Yesc) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

I believe economically challenged individuals should also be added to this list of protected classes

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, and oil).
Xc) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xd) Increase funding for improvements to Florida's power generating and transmission facilities.
Xe) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xf) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
g) Other or expanded principles

I believe Florida has a responsibility to protect two national treasures with our borders: The Everglades and our beaches. While this may require us to force businesses and government to internalize environmental costs, we have a national duty and a duty to tourism to do so.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
a) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
e) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
Xf) Require a license for gun possession.
g) Other or expanded principles
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) Transfer current Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
c) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
e) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
Xf) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Florida.
g) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xh) Other or expanded principles

d) ...with a prevailing party attorneys fees provision to discourage frivolous lawsuits

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
Xa) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xb) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xc) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
Xd) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
e) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
Xf) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
g) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
Xh) Remove the cap on affordable housing spending in Florida.
i) Other or expanded principles
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.

Lower State Debt -- reinstate prior intangibles tax and vote against most local impact state funding ("pork")

Growth Management -- statewide program creating land trusts to assure ample "green space" for the future

Education -- (a) Increase teacher salaries (b) enforce class size amendment (c) reject school vouchers (d) deemphasize FCAT as Rating tool

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