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Brendan Doherty's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Brendan Doherty refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 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 2012, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Providence Journal: Doherty meets with House Republicans. 8 February 2012. "Doherty said he is opposed to abortion, except in cases involving rape, incest or the physical well-being of the mother. He said he supports certain restrictions on the procedure, such as parental consent for abortions for minor girls. Doherty said he believes life begins at conception, but he declined to state a view on proposals to grant rights to the human fetus." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Video: Newsmakers 3/9: Brendan Doherty. 10 March 2012. Answered: "There could be something in the budget that could effect payments for abortion. I would reject anything to do with abortion" to the question: "IF you're elected would you vote to support laws that would reduce the number or abortions or reduce funding for abortions [¦] it could be potentially in the federal budget." (
No Inferred Answer Afghanistan: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Video: WJAR- 10 News Conference Interview (Part 1). "We need to bring our troops back as soon as possible [¦] I believe we've accomplished quite bit in Afghanistan. We could be there another 10 years and not accomplish any more than we have right now." (
  • Brendan Doherty. GoLocalProv: Obama Or Clinton? Doherty Refuses To Disclose. 14 May 2011. "Doherty was explicit when it comes to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: bring the troops home. He expressed his full support for those serving in the military, but said the focus should about what's happening in this country. America is hurting, we cannot compromise their safety, but we need to bring our troops home as soon as possible." (
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. National Security and Veteran's Affairs. 14 September 2012. "Defense spending accounts for a significant portion of our discretionary spending, making it a frequent target for budget cutting proposals. While we should look for every opportunity to make our military more efficient to protect taxpayer dollars, I am opposed to budgetary gimmicks that would perpetuate excessive and wasteful spending in other areas of the budget at the cost of national defense." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Top 10 Most Important Issues in the Cicilline/Doherty Race. 24 September 2012. "In nearly every public appearance, Doherty mentions his support for the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission to help address the nation's deficit. Doherty maintains that Congressman (and Vice Presidential candidate) Paul Ryan's budget as well as the progressive budget Cicilline has supported need to be tabled and Congress needs to work off the Simpson-Bowles plan first." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Issue Position: Tax Reform. 1 January 2012. "Comprehensive tax reform is necessary to rebuild and reinvigorate America's economy. A tax code that is simple, fair, and predictable is the first step to achieving the real job growth that America and Rhode Island need. It will not be enough to continue extending temporary tax breaks [¦] A Fairer and Simpler Individual Income Tax: As it stands right now, our individual tax code has six tax brackets with rates that are scheduled to rise at the end of 2012. Not only will this increase harm to hard-working American families, but it will also significantly burden our small to medium sized businesses that file taxes under the individual side of the tax code. I firmly believe that everyone must pay his or her fair share of taxes. Therefore, I support [¦] fewer tax brackets and minimal deductions for taxpayers at the higher end of the income scale." (
  • Brendan Doherty. BRENDAN DOHERTY. "According to Doherty campaign manager Ian Prior, 'He wants to extend the Bush tax cuts into next year “ all of them “ so that Congress can take up comprehensive tax reform and really address the issue to make the tax code fairer, less complex, and more pro-growth.'" (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Issue Position: Infrastructure. 1 January 2012. "Unfortunately, infrastructure development in the United States has fallen behind that of many nations of Europe and Asia. This deficiency is a roadblock on our path to sustainable economic growth [¦] While it is clear that we must focus greater attention on improving our infrastructure, the authority to do so must not rest exclusively with the federal government and the burden cannot be placed solely on the backs of taxpayers. Instead we must embrace a new and creative approach to financing infrastructure repair and modernization [¦] Historically, the Highway Trust Fund has been funded with revenue from federal fuel taxes, although in recent years Congress has increased spending on these projects, adding to our federal deficits. With dramatic increases in fuel prices driving up the cost of food, transportation and other essentials for American families, we cannot consider increasing fuel taxes. At the same time, however, some estimate that that it will cost in excess of $2 trillion dollars to restore our aging infrastructure and we cannot add that cost to our federal debt. We can no longer place this burden solely on the backs of the American people and we certainly cannot afford to rely on temporary and expensive stimulus packages or Congressional earmarks that disguise pork barrel spending as infrastructure projects [¦] A more ambitious proposal that we should consider carefully is a private-public partnership in the form of an infrastructure bank that would make substantial loans to public and private entities for the construction of new projects such as highways, bridges, mass transit, electrical grids and water systems." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Jobs and the Economy. 27 September 2012. "Having traveled throughout Rhode Island's First Congressional District week after week since last May, I have heard time and again from Rhode Island small business men and women that short-term tax credits, temporary rate reductions and one time government grants are not the kind of help they need to allow them to hire more workers. Rather, these business men and women are adamant that they will hire when they are able to compete and succeed, which depends on the following: (1) fairness and consistency in the tax code; (2) lower and more predictable energy costs; (3) a smarter regulatory policy; and (4) reduced and predictable health care costs. By focusing on those areas, I believe the government can set the private sector free to usher in a new era of American economic expansion." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Fiscal Responsibility. 27 September 2012. "Unfortunately, Washington, DC is lacking in like-minded leadership that is committed to managing taxpayer money responsibly. In 2011, federal spending reached $3.6 trillion, our annual deficit is approximately $1.3 trillion, and our national debt has risen to $15.6 trillion. Simply put, America is on an unacceptable and unsustainable course to our own debt crisis. While millions of American families personally balance their budgets, it is projected that each American's share of the national debt will rise to $279,738 by 2050." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Economy: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Tax Reform. 14 September 2012. "Our corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world and it puts American business at a competitive disadvantage with companies from other nations. Lowering the rate will allow businesses to use more of their profits to expand operations, develop new products, and thereby create well paying American jobs." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Education. 14 September 2012. "No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top initiatives have set unrealistic achievement goals and have created onerous and costly compliance requirements that take money away from educating our children. [¦] Meanwhile, the Race to the Top Program provides incentives for competition, but nonetheless requires compliance with the Department of Education's top-down solutions that tie the fate of teachers to student test performance, which may not be an accurate indicator of either a teacher's performance or a student's abilities." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Video: WJAR- 10 News Conference Interview (Part 2). "We should be in an energy revolution. We have plenty of untapped oil lines in the outer continental shelf." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Video:11 17 Hibernian Reception. 14 March 2012. "We're an energy rich country here, but we're not allowed to drill. If we could do that safely, we need to allow these companies to drill. Why continue to rely on OPEC nations and people like Ahmadinejad who don't like the United States too much? We have untapped oil lines in the outer continental bank, we have shales throughout the United States, we need to be able to utilize that to help become more energy independent." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Energy Reform. 14 September 2012. "The United States has tremendous resources at our disposal and we need to begin tapping into these resources right away. In Congress, I will push for an energy revolution in America. The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness recently called for an "All-In Energy Strategy" featuring increased production of traditional fuels such as oil and natural gas in a safe and responsible manner within the United States. Making use of untapped oil and gas reserves on federal lands can provide desperately needed jobs for American workers, provide reliable sources of energy that are under our control and provide substantial revenue that could be used to fund badly needed infrastructure programs." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? 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 Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • John E. Mulligan. Providence Journal: On gun control, some R.I. candidates call for action, others urge caution / Poll. 24 July 2012. "In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Colorado, Republican Brendan Doherty has joined the three incumbent Rhode Island Democrats seeking federal office this year in expressing support for restrictions on firearms sales. "I respect Supreme Court decisions upholding the Second Amendment," Doherty said Monday. "We must also consider, however, that our founding fathers could not have imagined a high-powered assault rifle such as the AR-15, with a one-hundred-round drum magazine, being used in the commission of such a horrific crime." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Doherty Criticizes Irresponsible, Out-of-Touch Behavior on Capitol Hill. 12 July 2012. "Doherty also faulted Republicans in the House of Representatives for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act without offering any alternative proposal, particularly with the knowledge that the Senate likely will not take up the repeal and the promise of a Presidential veto, if necessary. Doherty has stated publicly that he considers the current plan 'unwise, unworkable, and ultimately unaffordable,' while calling repeatedly for a lasting solution for health care reform, to be reached through agreement among Democrats and Republicans in the spirit of the landmark Social Security and Medicare programs [¦] I would support an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of an alterative including, at the least, these widely supported provisions." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Healthcare Reform. 14 September 2012. "America has struggled for decades with the question of how to expand access to health care coverage, making affordable health care available to more Americans, while at the same time controlling the cost these services. Unfortunately, the President's health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, brings us no closer to answering these questions." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Video: WJAR- 10 News Conference Interview (Part 2). 15 April 2012. "We need to repeal Obamacare in my view." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Top 10 Most Important Issues in the Cicilline/Doherty Race. 25 September 2012. "Republican Doherty has said more than once that he would vote to repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act if Romney is elected President. Doherty says he supports some parts of the initiative (keeping young people on their parents' health care, for example), but maintains that it costs too much." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Video: Doherty - Helen Glover Interview (July 2) - Obamacare, Eric Holder, Jobs/Workforce Training. 12 July 2012. "I'm disapointed in Obamacare [¦] I just believe its an overreach by government [¦] So yes I would vote to repeal it [¦] But I think we need to find better solutions, even before we repeal it." (
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Issue Position: Immigration. 1 January 2012. "To create an opportunity for long-term illegal immigrants to gain citizenship would be an injustice to every legal immigrant in the United States [¦] I have consistently supported our legal immigrant community. I will fight for strict enforcement of laws to protect our national security, but also for fair laws that will allow legal immigration for those that would come here to fulfill their dreams for a better life." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Andrew Gobeil. Doherty stands pat on gay marriage, no new comments. 10 May 2012. "It's a serious issue, but it's not the cornerstone on which he's running," campaign spokesman Robert Coupe said to Andrew Gobeil this morning. "His position is unchanged: he's in favor of civil unions but does not believe we should refer to it as marriage." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brendan Doherty. Doherty says RI voters can't trust Cicilline. 12 September 2012 "Doherty said he would not support any plan that privatizes Social Security or cuts benefits." (
  • Brendan Doherty. Protecting our Seniors. 14 September 2012. "I will steadfastly resist any effort to privatize Social Security, and I will vote against any proposal to weaken either program for current beneficiaries or individuals that will become beneficiaries in the near future. [...] The President's Bipartisan "Simpson-Bowles" Commission has suggested the types of reforms that can protect Social Security for our parents and grandparents, while preserving it for our children and grandchildren. I believe that a constructive debate should begin with the proposals recommended by that Commission, which may provide the basis for a consensus on necessary reforms." (


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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