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Steven Cook's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Steven Cook has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2014 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Washington State Legislative Election 2014 Political Courage Test

Pro-lifea) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Yesb) Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?
c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Yese) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesf) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesg) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
Yesh) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
i) Other or expanded principles:

C - in cases of rape - should be reported immediately, and medical professionals should be able to prevent need for later abortion.
C - Incest is very complex situation, which cannot be answered with "yes" or "no", or in just few words.
D - If 2 or 3 "uninvolved" physicians (those not working with/for the organization that would do the abortion) are agreed that woman's life is endangered, then she should consult with father of child, and together they should determine what action to take.

1) State Spending:
Using the key, indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Education (higher)
Slightly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Greatly Decreasec) Environment
Slightly Decreased) Health care
Slightly Increasee) Law enforcement/corrections
Slightly Increasef) Transportation/infrastructure
Slightly Decreaseg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories:

Our State Supreme Court is requiring increased spending on education and mental health care. They have not shown that the increased funds will better the educational product. Trying to balance high income/valuation/expense districts, and low ones is a very complex process.

2) State Taxes:
Using the key, indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.
Slightly Decreasea) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Gas/Oil taxes
Maintain Statusd) Property taxes
Maintain Statuse) Sales taxes
f) Other or expanded principles:

Believe the initiative to privatize liquor sales may have actually hurt tax income by setting taxes too high.

At the same time, since our state legalized marijuana use, the implementing initiative was flawed, in that it does not move any of the taxes from the state to the local jurisdictions which must enforce the law.

3) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Washington's budget.
Noa) Tapping into Washington's "rainy day" fund
Nob) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Yesc) Reducing or eliminating public worker collective bargaining
Yesd) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
Noe) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
f) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
g) Other or expanded principles:

The "rainy day" fund has already been tapped into, and doing so further will be deleterious to its purpose.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
1) Individual
2) Political Action Committee
3) Corporate
4) Political Party
Yesb) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesd) Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
Yese) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
f) Other or expanded principles:

I personally believe there should be limit of twice the income the position pays (for those that pay more than $1,000/yr - for those positions paying less, limit of $0.50/voter, indexed to inflation) - though not sure how to bring that about. Timely disclosure should be made by all organizations who are spending money on campaigns (candidate or initiative), as to who is providing the funds.
It is bit problematic to require any identification at our elections, since the state has enforced universal mail balloting.

Yesa) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
c) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
d) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Yese) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
f) Other or expanded principles:

C - it depends on the particular circumstances: type/severity of crime; age of minor who committed crime; who victims are.....
D - there should be sanctions on a first offense; with more severe charges on later offenses. At the same time, there should be discretion for the prosecutors/police based on exact nature of sent images.

Yesa) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Nob) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Noc) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Yesd) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Noe) Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Nof) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Nog) Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
h) Other or expanded principles:

B - there should be adequate funding to re-train displaced workers, if we are not paying for much bureaucratic overhead.
C - expanding unemployment benefits access would be counter productive to getting people back to work.
D - the financial incentives need to be in form of reduced government costs to the businesses.
E - see McClatchey articles (running in September) on fraud in these types of programs
F - as former mortgage officer - believe they would be better served with competent, financial planning (by someone who can't sell them products.)

a) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
Yesb) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
c) Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?
Yesd) Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?
Yese) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
f) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Nog) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Washington high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles:

A - the stated goal, consistent materials across the nation, is good; problems seem to be in how it is implemented, and if it really teaches thinking skills or "parroting of ideological answers".
C - In some cases it does, in others it keeps ineffective teachers in place who should be removed.
F - Yes, if the state has adequate funds for other projects - and makes them loans with possibility of partial reductions of principal, if the students work in needed fields - like the federal program for doctors in rural areas.

Noa) Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?
Nob) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
Noc) Do you support state funding for improvements to Washington's energy infrastructure?
d) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Noe) Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
f) Other or expanded principles:

A, B, C - These items should be worked on and determined by private enterprise.
D - does this refer to current parks? Is it referring to more parks? Is it in reference to plans to close public out of public lands? Question as presented is too ambiguous to answer.

a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
b) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesc) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Nod) Should a license be required for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles:

A - only by those who have lost their rights for such purchase/possession by they prior criminal behavior; or by their being declared incompetent, by a court, due to their mental instability.
B - not unless there is a cost free, registration free means of doing it (i.e. all records & copies of information used to do the background check would have to be destroyed/wiped out within 15 minutes of completion of the sale) and I am including the FBI database inquiry records as well.

Noa) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yesc) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Nod) Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act?
Noe) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Yesf) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
g) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles:

Any company that wishes to provide its employees with health care coverage - should be able to choose the type and amount of coverage they desire to provide. If many companies do not want to provide health care coverage, they should then be able to pay higher wages so employees can purchase their own coverage.

Noa) Do you support same-sex marriage?
Nob) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Washington's anti-discrimination laws?
Noc) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Washington's anti-discrimination laws?
d) Other or expanded principles:

A - I am personally opposed to "same-sex marriage" (an oxymoron in my view), but since it is legal, I have to agree to its existence.
B - I believe that this is being misused to force people to agree with something they may have principled disagreements with - and should either be removed, or limited in its scope.
C - This is even more problematic than the above - and can lead to too many moral problems.

In the following area, on an attached page, or via e-mail, 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.

Education - (K-12) as required by McCleary decision. Best approach for more funding is to get rid of government interference in private enterprise, so we can put more people to work at better jobs; thus raising amount of taxes that are coming into the treasury, through increased spending.
Transportation infrastructure - by realigning priorities of the Department of Transportation, and probably changing processes that are currently in place that cause bloated costs.
Mental Health - also as decreed by the Supreme Court. Again, we have to look at how we are treating these people and use current resources better.

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