Representative Paul Tonko's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (NY) - District 20, Democratic
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Paul Tonko has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

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 are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Action Fund http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/4403/paul-tonko#.V0YlJnUrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • "Firmly Pro-Choice" http://votesmart.org/public-statement/382575/issue-position-health-care#.V0YlynUrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? "Pro-choice" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support reversing the Bush Tax Cuts for Americans in the two highest tax brackets." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/391923/issue-position-tax-policy/?search=bush%20tax%20cuts#.V0YmVXUrIfJ (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "There are much needed investments and tax breaks into alternative energy, including $2 billion for research into advanced battery technologies, some of which is already taking place in the Capital Region. I fought to keep transit and high speed rail money part of the package and relevant to upstate New York." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/449320/house-passes-economic-recovery-plan/?search=jobs#.V0Ync3UrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • "I support policies that re-shore manufacturing jobs, invest in infrastructure, and provide incentives to small businesses that encourage growth and expansion." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1071763/issue-position-expanding-the-middle-class/?search=jobs#.V0YnQHUrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • "So this evening, it was a pleasure to join with you to talk about what we can do with the clean energy economy, what we are doing with the stimulus, the investment in the future of this country in a way that uses cutting-edge tools, which is the important strategy here." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/481423/rebuilding-the-economy/?search=stimulus#.V0Yn83UrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support tax cuts that are targeted at small businesses to help create domestic jobs." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "As a member of the Education and Labor Committee, I am committed to advancing the best education policy for our nation's schoolchildren. That includes revising the No Child Left Behind Law. We need to ensure that teachers and schools have the support they need to better prepare our students for college and the workplace." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/572129/ (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Vote Smart's Research

  • "So this evening, it was a pleasure to join with you to talk about what we can do with the clean energy economy, what we are doing with the stimulus, the investment in the future of this country in a way that uses cutting-edge tools, which is the important strategy here." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/481423/rebuilding-the-economy/?search=stimulus#.V0Yn83UrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/ (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a 'cap and trade' system? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The President's executive actions this week, intent at reducing gun violence, represents the overwhelming consensus of the American public -- including law abiding gun owners. […] We can defend the second amendment of the Constitution while also enhancing background checks, enforcing existing gun laws, and researching gun safety technology." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1055940/tonko-statement-on-announced-executive-actions-to-reduce-gun-violence#.V0YobnUrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support a ban on assault rifles? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)
  • "The Affordable Care Act provides Americans with new benefits and protections that makes insurance more affordable and accessible -- that's why polls show most people are against a full repeal of reform." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/581196 (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/ (votesmart.org)
  • "I support a comprehensive immigration reform strategy that will end illegal entry and effectively address the reality that 12 million undocumented immigrants are currently living in the United States, many of whom hold jobs, make significant contributions to our economy, and have children who are American citizens." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/582858/issue-position-immigration/?search=citizenship#.V0YpMnUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Marriage is about love, respect, and commitment, and it's long overdue that we recognize that all of our citizens have the right to make that choice. Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our time, and I am proud of this historic outcome." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/622223 (votesmart.org)
  • Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/4403/paul-tonko/#.V0YimHUrIfI (votesmart.org)

Key

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.

New York Congressional 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.

Pro-choiceCandidate Answera) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles

1) Spending

Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.

Slightly Increasea) Agriculture
Slightly Increaseb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Maintain Status1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Decrease2) Military hardware
Slightly Decrease3) National missile defense
Greatly Increase4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Maintain Status5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status6) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific research
Slightly Increasej) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Slightly Increasel) Welfare
Greatly Increasem) Other or expanded categories

Clean energy development

2) Taxes

Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.

Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increasee) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
NoCandidate Answer3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
No4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
YesCandidate Answer5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
6) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesc) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yesd) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yese) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles

I support closing tax loopholes that allow corporations to ship jobs overseas.
I support tax cuts that are targeted at small businesses to help create domestic jobs.

a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yesb) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Noc) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yesd) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Noe) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Nof) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yesc) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Yesd) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Yese) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yesb) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Noc) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
Nod) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yese) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yesb) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yesc) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yesd) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
Noe) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yesf) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Yesg) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yesc) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
Nod) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yese) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Nob) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
Noc) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
Yesd) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations
Nob) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesc) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesd) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yese) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yesf) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesh) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Noi) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Nod) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
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.

My top priority is job creation and economy recovery. I would like to see further investment for small businesses, our true engine of economic growth. By investing, we can take innovative ideas and scale them to market, creating full time well paying manufacturing jobs. In addition, I am committed to developing the clean energy economy by placing a price on the true cost of emission. In so doing, we can allow the marketplace to set prices and this clarity will lead to innovative ideas and capitalistic solutions that will create jobs and improve our national security.

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