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Don Cooney's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: Commissioner (Kalamazoo, MI) - At-Large
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Don Cooney refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2010, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion Issues: Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Don Cooney. 2010. The Associated Press: Where Michigan Congress hopefuls stand on 4 issues. 18 October 2010. Responded "I respect a woman's right to choose. Having said that, I think we should do everything we can to make other choices available besides abortion. We should provide much more support to young women so that they do not find themselves in a situation where this is the only way. That means providing stronger education, stronger support for families and improving the economic condition of people living below or near the poverty line who may feel they cannot provide for a child." to the question: "DO YOU SUPPORT ALLOWING ABORTIONS? IF YOU OPPOSE ABORTION, SHOULD THERE BE EXCEPTIONS?" (www.mlive.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Don Cooney. Bailout is a $700 Billion Blunder. 7 October 2008. "Kalamazoo City Commissioner and Congressional Candidate Says Congress Should Have Taken a More Deliberate Approach to the Problem Just days after the $700 billion financial bailout bill was signed by the President - much-maligned by taxpayers - both foreign and domestic markets indicated their displeasure with the measure...Kalamazoo City Commissioner Don Cooney said all along that Congress should have moved much more deliberately and created a broad coalition of stakeholders, including the voices of working families, the world's best economists and homeowners. "This bailout didn't work, it put us in a weaker position," said Cooney. "Now we will be struggling to find the resources to help the very people who are most negatively affected by this crisis. As I've said all along, we need to bring everyone to the table and come up with a fair, equitable and effective solution to this economic crisis." (votesmart.org)
  • Don Cooney. Cooney Blasts Upton for Vote on bailout. 30 September 2008. "While the U.S. House was voting Monday on a $700 billion financial bailout plan, a Democratic candidate for Congress from Southwest Michigan was leading a rally against it in his home town. Don Cooney, a Kalamazoo city commissioner who is running for the 6th District congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R St. Joseph) said he's glad the plan failed. He said that in designing the plan, top-level lawmakers did not consider the voices of the working taxpayers. "We understand that there is a huge problem and something has to be done, but this is not the answer. It's not going to solve the problem. If they put this money out there now, putting us further in debt, it's not going to solve the problem," Cooney said in a phone interview after the vote in Washington...Cooney said if he were in Congress, he would call in the best economists in the country and go back to the drawing board. "In the meantime, the federal government should step in and temporarily ease the situation by making money available for loans to financial institutions and to ordinary people." (votesmart.org)
  • Don Cooney. Cooney Responds to Failure of the Bailout Package. 26 September 2008. "Kalamazoo City Commissioner and Congressional candidate Don Cooney made a statement today on the bailout package voted down in the U.S. House of Representatives. At a rally attended by over 75 people, Cooney said the voices of taxpayers were not being included in the bailout talks, and that's why the $700 billion proposal failed. Cooney said that taxpayers overwhelmed lawmakers with telephone calls, letters and other correspondence, and forced them to create a better solution than the one being proposed...Cooney said we need a solution, but more voices need to be included, especially working families. He also said we need a new economy, one that works for everyone, not just the speculators and insiders on Wall Street. "There is a serious problem here, but the solution proposed was too narrow, and didn't include the voices of working people and their families," said Cooney. "We need to get to the heart of the problem - an economy that too often works for Wall Street, but not Main Street. The working people of this country deserve a better deal." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Business and Employment Issues: Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Don Cooney. 2010. The Associated Press: Where Michigan Congress hopefuls stand on 4 issues. 18 October 2010. Responded "No. Private accounts for Social Security would be a disaster. Social Security should be left the way it is. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. If we start taking money out of the pot, it weakens the whole system. Another thing is, what are folks supposed to do when the market crashes, as it did in the fall of 2008, and their Social Security is tied up in the stock market? This nation cannot afford to take the risk of gambling our seniors' income in an uncertain financial market. Additionally, the present managing cost of Social Security is 1 percent of the program's overall budget. If we start contracting out account management and creating more bureaucracy, those costs will explode." to the question: "SHOULD WORKERS BE ALLOWED TO INVEST A PORTION OF THEIR PAYROLL TAX IN PRIVATE ACCOUNTS MANAGED BY PRIVATE FIRMS CONTRACTED BY THE GOVERNMENT, OR SHOULD SOCIAL SECURITY BE LEFT THE WAY IT IS? WHY OR WHY NOT?" (www.mlive.com)
  • Don Cooney. Issue Position: Social Security. " What I believe - Social Security should not be privatized, and Republicans in Congress should be held accountable for trying to turn Social Security over to Wall Street speculators. I believe in the promise of Social Security, and oppose increasing the retirement age, decreasing benefits, and taxing Social Security. I believe people who work hard their entire life deserve to retire with dignity. The change we need - We need to stop talking about turning Social Security over to Wall Street speculators, and start to focus on addressing the healthcare needs of our seniors. Disease research funding for ailments like Alzheimer's disease is woefully inadequate, and I support fully funding critical research in this area. In addition, I will support legislation to make certain our dollars are invested in other debilitating, but treatable ailments to improve the quality of life for seniors. Universal health care and more affordable prescription drugs will go a long way in helping seniors, but crucial funding for research to find cures for debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's disease and others must become a top national priority." (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime Issues: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education Issues: Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Environment and Energy Issues: Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Don Cooney. 2010. The Associated Press: Where Michigan Congress hopefuls stand on 4 issues. 18 October 2010. Responded "Absolutely yes. I feel that American auto companies made a big mistake by not moving toward high-efficiency vehicles sooner. The decision to produce gas-guzzling SUVs put our auto manufacturers in a position where they couldn't compete with the more fuel efficient vehicles being produced overseas. Low-efficiency vehicles also increase our dependence on importing foreign oil, something we can ill-afford to do in the current world climate. It is important for the sake of the climate and for the sake of international relations for America to move toward homegrown, renewable sources of energy and away from carbon-based fuel." to the question: "WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE STRONGER EMISSION CONTROLS AND FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS ON CARS AND TRUCKS? IF SO, WHAT SHOULD THAT FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARD BE?" (www.mlive.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Gun Issues: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Yes Inferred Answer Health Issues: Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Don Cooney. 2008. League of Women Voters of Michigan: 2008 Nonpartisan Voter Guide. Responded "This nation spends far more than any other industrialized nation on health insurance and we have 47 million uninsured and at least 50 million with inadequate insurance. Too much is wasted on paperwork and bureaucracy. We need health care which emphasizes prevention, is universal, comprehensive, accessible and affordable. Health care is a right not a commodity. We need a universal, single payer system." to the question: "What should the federal government do, if anything, to ensure that every American has health coverage?" (www.negauneeinvitational.com)
  • Don Cooney. 2010. Michigan Live: 2010 Michigan Voter Guide. Responded "The present health care law will have a significant positive effect on our people. It will extend coverage to 32 million people; it calls for new investment which will enable over 1,000 health centers around the nation to double the number of patients they can see over the next 5 years; it enables people with pre-existing conditions to get health care. We need to build on these advancements. Even with the new health care bill, there will still be millions of people without coverage. The United States will continue to spend almost twice as much as other industrialized countries on health care. This is unsustainable. Right now 31% of our health care costs go to private insurance companies and paperwork. If we moved to a Single Payer system we would save $400 billion per year, enough to provide quality health care for all our people. We need to join other industrialized nations in providing a single-payer system: Medicare for all." to the question: "Do you support or oppose the federal health-care law? Why? If you would vote to repeal it, what would you put in its place, if anything?" (thevoterguide.mlive.com)
  • Johnson, Katie. 2010. Niles Daily Star: Professor to challenge Upton again. May 2010. "An assistant professor of social work at Western Michigan University and former Catholic priest, Cooney, 73, is a strong advocate of social welfare programs. He has been against the Iraq war from the beginning, and supports the health care reform bill." (www.nilesstar.com)
  • Don Cooney. Issue Position: Health Care. "I believe our nation needs universal, single-payer healthcare, and more affordable prescription drugs. Health insurance should be affordable, comprehensive, accessible and portable. Our health care system should emphasize prevention, giving "health care" to people, not just "sick care." The government should be permitted to negotiate down the cost of prescription drugs with drug companies, especially if it helps people afford their necessary medications. I believe that healthcare is a human right and should be available to all, not a commodity for the privileged few. The change we need - As your representative, I will support H.R. 676 to create a single-payer, universal health care system in the United States [15]. I will also support any and all measures to make health care for children a fundamental right. I fully support Sen. Barack Obama's proposal to make health care for children universal, immediate and comprehensive." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration Issues: Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Don Cooney. 2010. Michigan Live: 2010 Michigan Voter Guide. Responded "No. We need comprehensive immigration reform. First, the nation has a right and responsibility to protect its borders against those who would do us harm. Second, with regard to the millions of undocumented people who are here: ? they must be treated with respect and recognition of their dignity; ? the integrity of the family must be respected and not torn apart; ? those who have not committed crimes should be brought out of the shadows with some kind of legal recognition and given a path to citizenship; ? young people who have succeeded in school should have an opportunity for aid to pursue higher education. Finally, the United States should advocate for a new international economic order so that people can succeed in their own country and not have to risk everything to come here and support their family." to the question: "Do you believe the nation's current immigration laws are working? If not, explain how you think the system should be changed and what you would do about it as a member of Congress." (thevoterguide.mlive.com)
No Inferred Answer International Policy Issues: Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jessup, Kathy. 2010. Michigan Live: Don Cooney to run again for Congress; Western Michigan University professor makes announcement to students. 24 April 2010. "Cooney has been critical of the Middle East wars, saying funds needed by U.S. cities are being diverted to those conflicts. The Democrat has said his priorities will be "policies for working people and the poor." (www.mlive.com)
  • Don Cooney. 2010. Michigan Live: 2010 Michigan Voter Guide. Responded "Three things have led to the present deficit: tax cuts which overwhelmingly went to the richest people in the nation, the economic collapse brought on by the reckless investments of Wall Street and the banking industry after sensible restraints on their activities were removed, and unfunded spending on the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can reduce the deficit by taking action to reverse these damaging trends. As Congressman I will fight to end the tax breaks for the wealthiest and have them pay their fair share; restore reasonable restraints on Wall Street and the big banks; and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2001 the nation has spent $1,013,290,111,118 on these wars. Our Congressional District has spent $1.7 billion for these wars. We need new priorities. The way out of the deficit is to invest in the human and physical infrastructure of the nation and turn our people into citizens who pay taxes and contribute to the building up of the nation." to the question: "How would you propose to reduce the federal deficit? What departments and/or areas of spending should be reduced or eliminated?" (thevoterguide.mlive.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Social Issues: Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Key

Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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