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Niles Brush's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Niles Brush has demonstrated Political Courage by telling citizens where he stands on the issues he may face if elected.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Montana State Legislative Election 2012 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?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) 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:

I support Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The Court acknowledges no right or liberty interest is unlimited. Exceptions exist for almost every rule in our society. The same idea applies to abortion and public funding. In cases where the woman's life is endangered and when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, public funds could be used. The patient's privacy must be protected as well as society's interest in maintaining a growing population. Pro-Life and Pro-Choice are misnomers, the issue is abortion.

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)
Maintain Statusb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Environment
Maintain Statusd) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement/corrections
Maintain Statusf) Transportation/infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
Maintain Statush) Other or expanded categories:

We, as Montanans, must prioritize government spending. We must adhere to our constitutional requirement to balance our budget. I believe programs need to be reformed to ensure that we keep our infrastructure maintained, provide for those who cannot provide for themselves, and our emergency services have the resources they need to fulfill their duties. At the same time, we need to incentivize people to take risks, open businesses, and obtain gainful employment. Bailouts and ever-expansive entitlement programs incentivize recklessness and dependency. Each individual defines their idea of the American Dream.

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.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gas/Oil taxes
Maintain Statuse) Property taxes
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Maintain Statush) Income taxes (high-income families)
Maintain Statusi) Other or expanded categories:

Every increase in taxes pulls money out of our economy and out of the hands of individual Montanans. Our tax structure needs reform. Everyone should be able to calculate their own taxes and understand the tax code. The French Parliament recently passed a law raising the top tax rate to 75% on everyone making over one million Euros. The rich are moving to nearby countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom. We need to compete with our neighbors in the national and international economies. To meet that goal, our tax structure must be simple, fair, and reasonable.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
No1) Individual
No2) Political Action Committee
No3) Corporate
No4) Political Party
Nob) 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:

Voters are more intelligent than the media suggests. People can research candidates just as they do for products advertized on television by large corporations. Yes, voters choose how much effort they are each willing to put forth to make informed decisions at the voting booth. If money determined all elections, the Copper Kings would have ensured no politicians would be elected who supported Montana's 1912 campaign financing laws. Our laws need to ensure our republic ideal of one person, one vote is protected. People who vote in multiple precincts using fake names or identities jeopardize the integrity of our elections.

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?
Yesc) Do you support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
Yesd) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
Yese) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Yesf) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
g) Other or expanded principles:

A- Capital punishment should be reserved for the most heinous murderers.
B- I believe with freedom comes responsibility. Vice laws could be reformed. People responsible enough to make choices also must bear the burden of the consequences of those choices.
C- As long as the current Controlled Substances Act remains, federal agencies will continue to enforce drug laws.
D and E- Yes, only in extreme circumstances, determined on a case-by-case basis. Letting these actions go unnoticed only tells our children that such actions are permissible.
F- States and local police have the right to keep the peace and protect citizens.

Yesa) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesb) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Noc) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Nod) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Noe) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
Nof) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
g) Other or expanded principles:

Too many complicated regulations already exist on the books, hampering an individual's ability to open a new business. More regulations effectively close the door of prosperity on the rest of us. If we allow business and the private sector to thrive, there will be less people needing unemployment and more Montanans working. Government has no business picking winners or losers or planning the economy. Government needs to be responsible with tax payer money. Infrastructure is important, but building bridges to nowhere is irresponsible. Most of the people who received federal assistance still went into foreclosure.

Noa) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
Yesb) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
Noc) 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?
Noe) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yesf) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Nog) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Montana high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles:

A- The states, not the federal government should run their education systems. Why? "No Child Left Behind", for one.
B/C- Reward the best teachers, foster competition among them. Just like in sports, you want your best players on the field, not just you're oldest.
D/E- Charter schools are proving themselves to be more effective and provide healthy competition for the public schools to improve themselves.
F- For those that qualify. College may not be the path for everyone. Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, and Oprah did not graduate from college.
G- We need the federal government to reform immigration laws.

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 Montana's energy infrastructure?
Nod) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yese) Do you support increasing the means by which hunters may take wolves in order to promote greater management?
Nof) Should Montana reintroduce bison on public lands?
Nog) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
h) Other or expanded principles:

A-C - The state should not be in the business of picking "winners" or "losers", such as gambling on Solyndra. State funding also comes with strings attached, making customers and taxpayers pay more on both ends. For each funding project is a group of bureaucrats to manage it and they do not work for free.
D- I would prefer conservation; the native peoples in the Americas developed the land to suit their needs before the small pox epidemic.
F- We need to protect our cattle and domestic bison from costly diseases.
G- Instead, offer prizes for innovation.

Yesa) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) 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 reasonable restrictions such as owning a .50 caliber machine gun and keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to society.
B- The national instant check should be made available for a qualified vendor to provide that service for a fee. Of course, private citizens may choose to avoid it and conduct a sale somewhere else.
C- Every law-abiding citizen should be able to defend themselves and/or others.
D- Licenses only serve to place a price tag on a constitutional right. A license fee may price us out of our right to bear arms.

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 requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Yese) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Nof) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
Yesg) Do you support increased restrictions on the production of medical marijuana in Montana?
h) Other or expanded principles:

Government needs to stay out of healthcare. The saying on the reservations says not to get sick after June. The Bureau of Indian Affairs runs out of money for healthcare on the reservation and waiting periods are longer. My cousin in Norway is still waiting on a surgery but the government rations healthcare and says he does not have enough good work years left. Health insurance needs to be competitive and we can accomplish that by allowing insurance to be portable. If medical marijuana is to be prescribed, the same standards for prescription medication need to apply, such as dosage.

Yesa) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
Noc) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Montana's anti-discrimination laws?
Nod) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Montana's anti-discrimination laws?
e) Other or expanded principles:

Marriage has religious implications. In 2004, Montanans defined marriage in our constitution as between one man and one woman. Liberty should be maximized and civil unions would provide the legal benefits marriage currently provides to heterosexual couples. I am a disabled veteran and I am generally against increasing discrimination laws to include everybody and everything. Employers may go out of their way to avoid hiring future potential litigants, whether due to age, disability, etc. Affirmative Action had its place but send a message that the protected people are too weak to live in a free society.

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.

Our economy is vital. The best anti-poverty program in the world is a good paying job or career. Current regulations and taxes, with more proposed every session, slowly closes the door of opportunity. Regulations and taxes increase the cost of doing business or even starting one. The more government tries to manage everything, the less freedom and opportunity we have. Montanans deserve better. We need a simpler tax code and fewer restrictions on our freedoms from government. Montanans have a choice. Is Montana to become a costly Nanny State such as California or a beacon of freedom and liberty?

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