Neil Abercrombie's Political Positions

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What is the Political Courage Test?

Hawaii Gubernatorial Election 2010 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.


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.
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Pro-choicea) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within 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?
Noe) 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 sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Noh) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
i) Other or expanded principles

1) 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.

Maintain Statusa) Education (higher)
Maintain Statusb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Environment
Maintain Statusd) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusf) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories

2) 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
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statuse) Property taxes
Maintain Statusf) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statush) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Maintain Statusi) Income taxes (high-income families)
j) Other or expanded categories

Hawaii taxpayers need to have confidence in how their tax dollars are being spent. After listening to many people, it is clear that confidence in Hawaii's government has been shaken. We must have serious discussions about how we use our existing revenues in a way that matches our values and priorities, then decisions must be made about reallocation of those public resources. Those decisions must be backed up with careful and responsible fiscal management.

3) Budget Stabilization

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Hawaii's budget.

Yesa) Tapping into Hawaii's "rainy day" fund
Nob) Issuing the early release of certain non-violent offenders
Noc) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Nod) Instituting mandatory furloughs and layoffs for state employees
Noe) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
Nof) Privatizing certain government services
Nog) Legalizing and regulating gambling
h) Other or expanded principles

The State of Hawaii has run itself into difficult financial circumstances, and it will take a different approach to governing to get us out of this situation. As I have said throughout this campaign, we have to begin the discussion by first being clear about our values and priorities. My plan is to accelerate economic recovery and better manage existing revenues and personnel to work with the budget we have to provide key services more cost-effectively. Additionally, there have been lost opportunities for external funding that could supplement some areas of the state's budget.

Yesa) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Hawaii governors?
Nob) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Hawaii state legislators?

c) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions to candidates for state government?

Yes1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Party
Yesd) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yese) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
f) Other or expanded principles

Money does have too much influence on politics, but most reform efforts focused on contribution limits have not been effective. We need to look at measures that ultimately level the playing field on campaign expenditures.

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

As a former probation officer and educator, I understand public safety and the importance of being firm, consistent and clear regarding criminal justice. The ultimate way to reduce crime is to increase the number of strong, nurturing families and improve economic and social conditions for all. Establishing these standards and making these investments requires leadership, long-term vision and commitment. We will also stop the practice of sending prisoners out of the state, which often decreases the chances of successful rehabilitation, sends public dollars out of Hawaii instead of creating jobs and community service opportunities here at home.

Noa) 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?
Yesc) 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?
Yese) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
Yesf) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
g) Other or expanded principles

We need to invest in new industries particularly clean energy, entrepreneurial agriculture, high-tech, and creative industries such as film and the arts.

Hawaii has always had tremendous entrepreneurial energy, but we have never fully unlocked our potential. We must improve Hawaii's business climate. Small business is critical to job creation and our economic recovery. Government today has to keep up with the speed of business today and the processes we have in place are too costly, cumbersome and slow. We need a full review and refinement of regulatory and permitting processes.

Yesa) Do you support national education standards?
b) Do you support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams?
Yesc) Do you support using a merit pay system for teachers?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yese) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Hawaii high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
g) Other or expanded principles

The education of our children is key to our economy and future. My education plan will transform our public schools by moving decision making to the school level and immediately incorporating the Superintendent of Schools into my Cabinet. All parties must be consulted and aligned for us to successfully pursue major education goals such as increasing college and career readiness, improving teacher quality, and maximizing educational innovation. The University of Hawaii system will contribute to and have a leadership role in every element of our comprehensive plan.

Yesa) 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)?
Yesc) Do you support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for improvements to Hawaii's energy infrastructure?
Yese) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yesf) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
g) Other or expanded principles

Hawaii must pursue energy independence. We will create good green jobs, grow local businesses and retain billions of dollars that we now spend to import oil. We will turn Hawaii into a global model for clean energy that will attract people to experience our success; we will become more resilient in confronting outside economic forces; and we will restore confidence in ourselves.

Yesa) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you support requiring background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Noc) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Do you support requiring a license for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles

Hawaii has a long history of hunting that continues today. I support the Second Amendment and the continuation of these outdoor activities, but I also support commonsense protections, such as handgun registration and child safety locks.

Yesa) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
c) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
d) Should individuals be required to purchase health care insurance?
Noe) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Nof) Do you support legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Hawaii?
Yesg) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles

In 1974, Hawaii passed the Prepaid Healthcare Act, which required employers to provide health insurance to full-time employees. Our law, which is protected in recent federal healthcare legislation, has been considered a model for national healthcare reform. But costs are growing beyond our control and a new vision of providing healthcare to everyone in Hawaii must emerge. I will assemble a group whose task will be to ensure that all people have health coverage and access to quality healthcare, and that costs are controlled.

Noa) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Should Hawaii allow same-sex couples to form civil unions?
Yesc) Do you support state funding for stem cell research?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Yese) Do you support the state's use of affirmative action?
Yesf) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Hawaii's anti-discrimination laws?
Yesg) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Hawaii's anti-discrimination laws?
h) Other or expanded principles

The State Legislature has already defined marriage as between a man and a woman. I support the legislature's authority to do that and I will abide by the law that they passed. I do support allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions, giving them the same rights and privileges as other married couples. Protecting people's civil rights cannot be compromised and I am committed to this most essential of constitutional imperatives. Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people's privacy, and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha.

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.

The top priorities are intertwined: energy, environment, economy and education. Hawaii must pursue energy independence for our security as well as our environmental goals. At the same time, energy independence is Hawaii's most important economic enterprise. We can grow a green economy, stimulate our local businesses and keep our money in Hawaii. As a foundation for a growing economy, we must also have an education system that invests in our human capital and prepares and nurtures our young people to drive the economy of the future.

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