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Michael Kerner's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Michael Kerner has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Kansas State Legislative Election 2016 Political Courage Test

Pro-lifea) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
b) Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?
c) 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?
Nof) 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:

Abortion is a complicated issue where people of good faith may disagree. I am generally pro-life but I hesitate to use the guns of government to enforce my views on this. I am certain, however, that no taxpayers money should ever be used to pay for anyone's abortion. Many taxpayers, myself included, consider that murder and it is truly evil to force us to pay for it.

1) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Kansas's budget.
a) Tapping into Kansas's "rainy day" fund
b) Decreasing funding for public universities
c) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
d) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
e) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
f) Other or expanded principles:

None of these options really fit with my views. I propose a major paradigm shift in education funding. I wish to remove the centralization in collecting taxes for education. The state government should not be involved. This would permit the total elimination of the state income tax. Individual districts would have complete local control over taxes and spending for education in their district without affecting other districts. Zero state income tax would attract new business investment, providing plenty of new jobs. The transition should be done rapidly. The multi-year phase out now in law cannot work.

2) State Spending:
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.
Greatly Decreasea) Education (higher)
Eliminateb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Environment
Maintain Statusd) Health care
Greatly Decreasee) Law enforcement/corrections
Maintain Statusf) Transportation/infrastructure
Slightly Decreaseg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories:

The education decentralization I outlined above will permit the state to zero out its K-12 education spending. The resulting lack of a state income tax will bring in new business investment providing many jobs which should reduce welfare spending needs. I also want to end the insane war on drugs that is depriving many sick people of useful medicine and filling our prisons with people who have done no wrong. From that comes the large reduction in law enforcement/corrections spending.

3) State Taxes:
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
Greatly Decreasec) Corporate taxes
Greatly Decreased) Small business taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gas/Oil taxes
Slightly Increasef) Property taxes
Slightly Decreaseg) Sales taxes
Eliminateh) Income taxes (low-income families)
Eliminatei) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Eliminatej) Income taxes (high-income families)
Nok) Do you support applying sales taxes to all online purchases?
Yesl) Do you support reducing the sales tax rate on groceries?
m) Other or expanded principles:

I have already outlined the major shift in education funding, elimination of the income tax for all (and doing it quickly, not over many years) and ending the war on drugs within the state. Thus I have matched up tax cuts with spending cuts to create a workable plan toward prosperity.

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
Yesb) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Noc) 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:

This is more complicated that most would think. As a Libertarian I have had potential contributors back off because they did not want their contribution to be reported on my filings. They feared retribution from members of their party who are also business associates. This would seem to argue for anonymous contributions. I can see problems with that as well but I think that overall anonymous contributions would enhance political competition. If contributions can be anonymous, there is no way to enforce limits.

Noa) 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 legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
Nod) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
Noe) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
Yesf) Do you support delaying the seizure of assets by law enforcement officials until after a conviction?
g) Other or expanded principles:

I deplore civil forfeiture altogether but making it post conviction would be a large improvement from the current "highway robbery" by police situation. I would also want the jury to be informed as to what is at stake on their verdict. Not just the jail time but the monetary forfeiture as well.

Noa) Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Yesb) Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
Yesc) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Nod) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Noe) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Nof) Do you support requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits?
Nog) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Noh) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Noi) Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
Yesj) Should employers be able to ask about applicants' criminal history before interviewing them?
k) Other or expanded principles:

I would think that employers are smart enough to tell the difference between a violent crime and a nonsense drug crime in evaluating prospective employees. Of course, if we are successful in ending the drug war, those drug crimes would all be expunged.

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?
Yese) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Nof) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Yesg) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Kansas high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles:

With respect to charter schools, if my funding change takes effect, then it would be the local school district funding the charter schools. It is also the local school districts that would be funding vouchers. I want to see full competition for education services on a level playing field. The parents are ultimately responsible for their children's education and must have complete control.

Noa) Do you support state funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
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 Kansas's energy infrastructure?
Nod) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Noe) Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
Yesf) Do you support increased regulations of the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
g) Other or expanded principles:

Fracking can affect other nearby land owners so it is appropriate for government to make rules to ensure safety in that respect.

Noa) Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
Nob) 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?
Yese) Do you support allowing concealed carry on public college campuses in Kansas?
f) Other or expanded principles:

I demand the complete and free ownership of the means of self defense for every adult. I know too much history to risk anything less. We have seen that more guns produces less crime. More importantly, we also have seen gun confiscation lead to genocide multiple times during the 20th century.

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 ("Obamacare")?
Noe) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Nof) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yesg) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles:

I do not support limits on actual damages in malpractice lawsuits. I do support limits on punitive damages.

Yesa) Do you support same-sex marriage?
Nob) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Kansas's anti-discrimination laws?
Noc) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Kansas's anti-discrimination laws?
Yesd) Based on the religious beliefs of the owners, should businesses be allowed to refuse services to their employees and/or customers?
e) Other or expanded principles:

I object to anti-discrimination laws as they are currently enforced. Making a baker pay $100K to a person who could easily have gone to another bakery is absurd. I would propose making it a defense to simply refer the customer to another bakery that will bake the requested cake. Think of the reverse situation. If a gay baker comes out of the closet and loses half his customers, do you want him suing those customers?

In the following area, 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.

Allow people to use Marijuana for medical purposes. (Step 1. After a year or two and the world doesn't come to an end, we can talk about recreational use.)
Major shift in school funding as I have outlined above.
Major reduction in state taxes to attract new business investment.

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