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Tom A. Torlakson

Tom Torlakson's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Tom A. Torlakson
Office: Superintendent of Public Instruction (CA), Democratic
First Elected: 11/02/2010
Next Election: 2014
On The Ballot: Running, Non-partisan for State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Primary June 3, 2014
General Nov. 4, 2014
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Mae; 2 Children: Tiffany, Tamara
Birth Date: 07/19/1941
Birth Place: San Francisco, CA
Home City: Concord, CA
Religion: Catholic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Tom Torlakson repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on the issues through the 2008 Political Courage Test when asked to do so by national leaders of the political parties, prominent members of the media, Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball, and Project Vote Smart staff.

What is the Political Courage Test?

California State Legislative Election 2004 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.
Xb) 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) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles
State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.
Greatly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increasec) Environment
Greatly Increased) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement
Greatly Increasef) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
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
Greatly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Greatly Increasee) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Increaseg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Maintain Statush) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusi) Property taxes
Slightly Increasej) Sales taxes
Slightly Increasek) Vehicle taxes
Slightly Increasel) Other or expanded categories

i) for home owners
property tax "loophole" closures for corporate property

Yesm) Should Internet sales be taxed?
n) What are your proposals for balancing California's budget? (50 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space provided is not adequate.)

Raise taxes as indicated above, while implementing efficiency reforms & makeup significant cuts.

o) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current two term, eight year term limit for California governors?
Undecidedb) Do you support the current two term, eight year term limit for California state senators?
Undecidedc) Do you support the current three term, six year term limit for California assembly members?
d) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?
1) Individual
2) PAC
3) Corporate
4) Political Parties
Yese) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Undecidedf) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
g) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
h) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
i) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in California are closed?
Yesj) Do you support providing human services (medical care, education, etc.) for legal immigrants and their children?
Yesk) Should California recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Undecidedl) Should California restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
m) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
Xb) Support the use of the death penalty in California.
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.
f) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
g) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
h) Amend the three-strikes law so that it is applied only when the third offense is a serious or violent felony.
i) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xj) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
k) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) 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 state funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xf) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
Xh) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xi) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xj) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
Xk) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
Xl) Support sexual education programs that teach about abstinence, contraceptives and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
n) Support funding for multilingual education.
o) Other or expanded principles
Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector 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 their employees.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children of low-income working families.
Xf) Include sexual orientation in California's anti-discrimination laws.
Xg) Create a 'living wage' standard for state employees and firms accepting state contracts.
h) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on:
a) College and university admissions
b) Public employment
Yesc) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles
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 resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
c) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused or abandoned.
Xd) Support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
e) Ban drilling for oil and gas in waters off the California coast.
Xf) Support a bond for construction of a high-speed train linking the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles via the Central Valley.
Xg) Increase funding for open space preservation.
h) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Xa) 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.
Xe) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
Xf) Require background checks on gun sales between citizens at gun shows.
Xg) Require a license for gun possession.
Xh) Establish a database of ballistic 'fingerprints' to track guns used in criminal activities.
i) 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 more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
Xc) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied by their HMO.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician-assisted suicide in California.
Xh) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xi) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
Xj) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
k) Other or expanded principles
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.
d) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
e) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
Xf) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
g) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
h) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
Xi) Maintain current spending levels for affordable housing.
Xj) Other or expanded principles

i) or increase

On an attached page, in a total of seventy-five (75) words or less, please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.
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