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Brian Schweitzer's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Brian Schweitzer repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on the issues through the 2008 Political Courage Test when asked to do so by national leaders of the political parties, prominent members of the media, Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball, and Project Vote Smart staff.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Montana Gubernatorial Election 2004 National Political Awareness 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.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
Xg) Other or expanded principles

As Governor, I will uphold the Supreme Court's decision that protects a woman's right to choose and make private health decisions with her doctor.

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.
a) Education (Higher)
b) Education (K-12)
c) Environment
d) Health care
e) Law enforcement
f) Transportation and highway infrastructure
g) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories

My running mate John Bohlinger and I will bring our 60 years combined business experience to the task of balancing the budget. We will challenge every expense, save every dollar, cut waste and improve efficiency. To learn more about our business background, please visit our website at

State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
f) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
g) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
h) Inheritance taxes
i) Property taxes
j) Vehicle taxes
k) Other or expanded categories
l) Should Internet sales be taxed?
Xm) Other or expanded principles

My priorities include providing tax relief to Montana homeowners and small businesses, and rewarding companies that increase their investment in Montana.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
a) Do you support the current term limit of eight years in a sixteen-year period for Montana governors?
b) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?
1) Individual
2) PAC
3) Corporate
4) Political Parties
c) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
d) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
e) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
f) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in Montana are closed?
g) Should Montana recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
h) Should Montana restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
i) Do you support allowing local governments to prevent smoking in public buildings?
Yesj) Other or expanded principles

Special interests have had far too much influence in Montana for far too long. I will not accept one cent of PAC or special interest money. I support full campaign finance disclosure and tougher ethics laws for lobbyists. To learn more about my proposed ethics reforms, please visit As Governor, I will work to enact policies that benefit the people of Montana, not special interests.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in Montana.
c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
e) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
f) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
g) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
i) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
j) Increase funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent and to respond to terrorist attacks.
k) Support a ban on open alcoholic beverage containers in cars and trucks.
Xl) Other or expanded principles

We need stricter penalties for criminals who manufacture or sell drugs. I support the death penalty, and ending parole for repeat violent offenders. I support vocational and substance abuse programs for non-violent offenders. I strongly support enacting a ban on open containers in vehicles, and my running mate, Republican Senator John Bohlinger of Billings, has already submitted a bill draft to do so.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
d) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
e) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
j) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
l) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
n) A district judge has ruled that Montana’s system of financing schools is inadequate. What are your proposals for increasing Montana’s aid to education? Please use forty (40) words or less.

Although the lawsuit is still pending before the Supreme Court, the next legislature will probably have to revamp the school funding formula. I'll work with both parties to ensure the legislature provides for a quality education that meets constitutional requirements.

Xo) Other or expanded principles

Education is the key to economic development, and I support investing in K-12 and higher education. We need to offer a competitive wage to attract and retain good teachers, and we need to hold schools and students accountable. I've proposed creating public-private partnerships with our 2 and 4-year institutions to lower the cost of college tuition. To learn more, visit

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
f) Include sexual orientation in Montana’s anti-discrimination laws.
g) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agencies’ decisions on:
a) Public employment
b) State college and university admissions
c) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
a) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
c) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
d) Support funding for open space preservation.
e) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
f) Support increased thinning of federal and state forests in Montana.
g) Support increased gas and oil development along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front.
Xh) Other or expanded principles

I support responsible development of Montana's natural resources while protecting our clean air, water and wildlands. I have also proposed developing new, renewable energy sources, such as clean-burning ethanol fuel, wind and hydrogen, to create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
a) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
e) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
f) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
g) Require a license for gun possession.
Xh) Other or expanded principles

As an NRA member with an "A" rating, I will protect our 2nd Amendment rights. I will ensure access to Montana's public lands for hunting, fishing and recreation.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
c) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
d) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
e) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Montana.
h) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xi) Other or expanded principles

My healthcare plan will lower healthcare costs by helping small businesses pool together to buy quality, lower-priced health insurance. My prescription drug plan will pool Montana with other states to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to buy cheaper prescription drugs, and allow local pharmacists to re-import safe, America-made prescription drugs from Canada so they can pass the savings on to their customers. To learn more, visit

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.
a) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
b) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
c) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
e) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
f) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
g) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
h) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
i) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 75 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.

I'm not a lifelong politician, but a businessman. I know what it takes to create jobs and grow Montana's economy. I'll bring new value-added industries to Montana: ethanol, feedlots and meatpacking; furniture and fertilizer manufacturing; wind and hydrogen power. I'll fight to lower the cost of healthcare and invest in education. I'll pass meaningful ethics reforms to end the influence of special interests, and initiate a comprehensive performance review to cut government waste and improve efficiency. For the first time in Montana history, a Democrat and a Republican are running together to end the partisan gridlock in Helena. It's time for a new day in Montana, and I respectfully ask for your vote. To learn more about my campaign, please visit

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