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Dennis Richter's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Dennis Richter 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?

Washington 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.
a) 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.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
Xf) 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

Abortions are currently legal. However, government should not provide money to any person who wants or any organization that performs abortions. Because whenever you subsidize anything, you get more of it.

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.
Greatly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Emergency preparedness
Greatly Decreased) Environment
Maintain Statuse) Health care
Slightly Increasef) Law enforcement
Greatly Increaseg) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Eliminateh) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories
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.
Eliminatea) Alcohol taxes
Eliminateb) Cigarette taxes
Eliminatec) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gasoline taxes
Greatly Decreasee) Property taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Sales taxes
Slightly Decreaseg) Vehicle taxes
h) Other or expanded categories
No1) 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?
4) Other or expanded principles

The state "budget" should be balanced by cutting spending.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Washington governors?
Nob) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Washington state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
No1) Individual
No2) PAC
No3) Corporate
No4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Noe) Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?
Yesf) Should Washington participate in the federal REAL ID program?
g) Other or expanded principles

As long as donations are disclosed, any individual or group should be allowed to donate as much as they want. Government has not business taking away this freedom.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
Xa) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
Xb) Support the death penalty in Washington.
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) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Xf) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xg) Support state and local law enforcement officials enforcing federal immigration laws.
h) Support hate crime legislation.
i) Other or expanded principles

Possession of marijuana against the law. If and until the law is changed, possession should remain illegal regardless of the amount.

I do not support hate crime legislation because this is punishment of an emotion. Law should be based on behavior only. Whether or not a perpetrator hates his victim should not be considered. The only consideration should be, "What did the perpetrator do, and what is the penalty for that crime?"

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.
d) 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.
Xg) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
h) Support using a merit pay system for teachers.
i) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
j) Support allowing illegal immigrant high school graduates of Washington to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
k) Other or expanded principles

Government does not need to be involved in pre-K program.

The Federal government should not be involved in State education standards and testing.

If a student has received a minimum GPA and had acceptable attendance, that person should graduate. It should not be left up to one final test. That said, there should be no problem with using an exit test that demonstrates student knowledge.

We have too many of our own children who are denied admission at the college of their choice. Why should someone in this country illegally be allowed by law to supplate our own children?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
a) 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.
c) 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) Support allowing day care workers to unionize.
l) Other or expanded principles

Government should not encroach on any area in which individuals should be taking responsibility for their own choices and lives.

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.
Xd) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xe) Support funding for improvements to Washington'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
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?
Yesc) Should a license be required for gun possession?
Nod) Do you support current levels of enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Noe) Do you support current state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
f) Other or expanded principles

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees an individual's right to own a gun. In many cases, this is the only viable means of protection one has. When government can guarantee that no innocent person will ever be killed by a criminal or have a need to defend him/herself from a criminal, then we can review whether or not we really need the Second Amendment. But that will never happen.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
Xb) 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.
Xd) Allow patients to sue their HMOs.
Xe) 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 Washington.
Xg) Support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xh) Support prohibiting the use or sale of prescription data for marketing purposes.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Noa) Should Washington recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Nob) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Noc) Should Washington 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 Washington 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

Sexual education programs should be based on parental choice. There should be a range of classes so that the majority of viewpoints can be accommodated. But government should not be allowed to determine what the typical viewpoint should be.

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.

Limit the amount of money the Legislature is allowed to spend.
Promote a fast monorail that would be built along existing major freeways and roads.
Push for significant pay raises for K-12 teachers.

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