Representative Ron Kind's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (WI) - District 3, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Ron Kind 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

  • "It is appalling that Republicans in both Madison and Washington have decided to prioritize attacking women's reproductive rights. This is just more evidence that the most extreme elements of the Republican Party are driving the agenda." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/795199/rep-ron-kind-votes-against-extreme-legislation-that-endangers-womens-health#.VXyWIHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1016/rating/7720#.VXx54HUVhHw (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In fact, one-third of the entire tax benefit package is going to the wealthiest three percent of Americans. These upper income tax breaks didn't help the economy during the entire eight years of the last administration and they won't now." http://kind.house.gov/editorials/forget-the-north-pole-send-your-list-to-beijing/ (kind.house.gov)
  • "We should not be giving $1 trillion in tax breaks to the wealthiest two percent while at the same time asking our hardworking middle class families, including military families, to pay more." http://kind.house.gov/latest-news/kind-rejects-tax-increase-on-middle-class-and-military-families/ (kind.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • WKOW "On Wednesday, influential anti-tax guru Grover Norquist spoke to a group of legislators at the Capitol about his support for scrapping many mandatory minimum sentences – especially for nonviolent offenders – and getting them reintegrated into society with jobs. […] Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI-3) said he joins other Democrats like New Jersey senator Cory Booker in joining the bipartisan movement." http://www.wkow.com/story/28676677/2015/03/31/2016-gop-field-embracing-prison-sentencing-reform-gov-walkers-position-unclear (www.wkow.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Recovery Act was passed to help our economy start creating jobs again. It invested in needed infrastructure projects across the nation, helped those hardest-hit by the recession, and kept police officers, firefighters, and teachers on the job serving our community." http://kind.house.gov/editorials/cutting-taxes-to-stimulate-the-economy/ (kind.house.gov)
  • "Today, in the face of difficult economic times, Democrats and Republicans came together to launch an economic stimulus package that will put money back in taxpayers' pockets and get our economy back on track. The urgency of enacting this package into law couldn't be greater, as we want to build on the step the Federal Reserve has already taken." http://kind.house.gov/latest-news/us-rep-kind-statement-on-economic-stimulus-compromise/ (kind.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The last thing we need in this fragile economy is to raise taxes and increase the burden on hardworking American families and small businesses. That's why we passed such a bill in the House two weeks ago – extending tax relief to small businesses and families making less than $250,000." http://kind.house.gov/latest-news/kind-statement-on-budget-busting-tax-bill/ (kind.house.gov)
  • "This year, millions of middle-class families will find the tax burden lighter and bigger refund checks in their mailboxes. That's because the Recovery Act reduced taxes by almost $100 billion last year and by $220 billion this year." http://kind.house.gov/editorials/cutting-taxes-to-stimulate-the-economy/ (kind.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating, "On August 8, 2014 the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services notified the state of Wisconsin of its eligibility to apply for federal funding through the Preschool Development Expansion Grants. […] We strongly urge your administration to apply for this grant funding opportunity and allow our state the chance to compete for funding which could strengthen preschool programs for millions of children across our state." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/932981/letter-to-scott-walker-governor-of-wisconsin-preschool (votesmart.org)
  • "[...] I fight to make sure our children have access to a high quality education, extra-curricular activities, and well-trained teachers in our local schools and across the country. In Congress, I strive to work across the aisle to help strengthen Head Start programs and increase funding for our schools." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/918929/issue-position-education/?search=funding#.V888c3VTQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "The emphasis on performance on standardized tests for reading and math has caused many schools to neglect things like physical education. This is counterintuitive, as students who are physically active are proven to perform better academically. Thats why I authored the Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act, H.R. 3257. FIT Kids would modify No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to strengthen physical education programs throughout the country by requiring schools to report on students' physical activity, and move toward a national goal for time spent in physical activity every week." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/371012/issue-position-education#.VZxKNXUVhHw (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I can only imagine what Wisconsin residents would feel if the United States Congress were to intervene and dictate what exact area that a pipeline should run through the state of Wisconsin with no local input, with no local people back in the state having any input whatsoever." http://www.wpr.org/reps-ribble-kind-sound-keystone-xl-pipeline (www.wpr.org)
  • Voted against S 1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51299#.VZw1fXUVhHx (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The time is long overdue for the United States to get in the lead on renewable energy, and this bill will help us get there. From fuel efficiency standards to investments in new renewable energy technologies, this bill forges a new direction for energy security – and people will see it not only in their wallet, but in the air they breathe as well." http://kind.house.gov/latest-news/rep-kind-study-on-biofuels-included-in-house-passed-energy-bill/ (kind.house.gov)
  • "For many years I have called for a more forward-looking approach that would embrace higher fuel efficiency standards for vehicles; increased research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technology, and a more diverse energy supply that utilizes all of our nation's assets and ingenuity." http://kind.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=62&sectiontree=3,50,62 (kind.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Tailoring Rule, itself, represents a compromise. Despite being court-ordered to regulate greenhouse gases, the EPA took into account our fragile economy, and proposed a narrow rule that would exempt the vast majority of stationary sources from any regulation. Through the rule, the EPA takes the appropriate approach to regulating greenhouse gases by only requiring very large, new and expanded emitters to seek permits. My friends on the other side of the aisle, however, believe that the EPA intends to go even further than the Tailoring Rule, and will ultimately implement a tax on energy just as China is beginning to today; but voting for this amendment will prevent the EPA from doing this." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/600421/#.VZxPvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today joined a majority in the House in passing a comprehensive renewable energy bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act, designed to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, lower energy costs, create new jobs, and begin to address global climate change. The bill overall will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 percent of what is needed by 2030 to significantly combat global warming." http://kind.house.gov/latest-news/rep-kind-study-on-biofuels-included-in-house-passed-energy-bill/ (kind.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Mr. Chair, I rise today in strong support of the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, H.R. 822. Not only am I a proud cosponsor of this legislation but I am also a firm and committed supporter of Second Amendment rights. This legislation will ensure further protection of this vital right by allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons across state lines." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/653933/#.VZxR7HUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0 % by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence http://votesmart.org/interest-group/122/rating/7712 (votesmart.org)
  • "As an avid hunter and a representative of sportsmen and women in Wisconsin and across the country, I believe current law should be examined so as to allow law-abiding sportsmen to enjoy hunting but also to keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals and others who might misuse them." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/765185/rep-ron-kind-on-presidents-plan-to-curb-gun-violence#.VX7dEHUVhHw (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Comprehensive health care could not wait and I was glad to help shape and support the Affordable Care Act of 2010." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/629152/issue-position-health-care#.VXycYHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Polifact "Mr. Speaker, what turned out to be a silly exercise has suddenly turned into an insane exercise. We find ourselves, for the 40th time in the House of Representatives, debating repeal of the Affordable Care Act." http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2013/aug/18/ron-kind/defending-obamacare-rep-ron-kind-says-increases-he/ (www.politifact.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "While we work towards the goal of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, we encourage you to exercise your authority to provide relief to millions of families from unnecessary detention and deportation." https://delbene.house.gov/sites/delbene.house.gov/files/Final%20-%20Immigration%20Letter%20to%20President%20Obama.pdf (delbene.house.gov)
  • "We want you to know you can rely on the New Democrat Coalition to support a comprehensive and bipartisan immigration package that includes a pathway to citizenship." http://newdemocratcoalition-kind.house.gov/sites/newdemocratcoalition.house.gov/files/polisscans_20130802_162613.pdf (newdemocratcoalition-kind.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "This decision marks another step toward full equality for all Wisconsinites. I applaud the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for ruling on the side of equal rights. Clearly, momentum is on the side of marriage equality. The government shouldn't stand in the way of two people who want to make a lifetime commitment to one another." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/932994/rep-ron-kind-statement-on-appeals-court-decision-in-favor-of-marriage-equality-for-wisconsin#.VX7in3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "This decision is an important step toward full equality for all Wisconsinites. If two people want to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for one another, then the government shouldn't stand in the way." https://kind.house.gov/latest-news/rep-ron-kind-statement-on-overturning-of-samesex-marriage-ban-in-wisconsin/ (kind.house.gov)
  • Signed a letter stating "We write to ask you to formally recognize for all federal purposes the marriages between same-sex couples that have been performed in the State of Wisconsin since a federal district judge invalidated the state's constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage on June 6." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/882652/letter-to-eric-holder-united-states-attorney-general-marriage-licenses-for-wisconsin-same-sex-couples#.VX7jP3UVhHw (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support President Obama and this new direction for winding down our efforts in Iraq and increasing our troop presence in Afghanistan. This bill is absolutely necessary to ensuring that our troops have the tools, equipment, and training to help keep them out of harm's way and that our mission is successful in the fight on terror." http://kind.house.gov/latest-news/rep-kind-votes-to-support-needs-of-troops/ (kind.house.gov)
  • "As a former prosecutor, I have been an advocate for strong judicial oversight of any program that involves the privacy rights of American citizens – lack of strong judicial and congressional oversight was the reason why I voted against reauthorization of the Patriot Act a few years ago. We need all three branches of our government involved to prevent the overreach of any one branch." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/877030/rep-ron-kind-statement-on-the-usa-freedom-act#.VX7kmHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "President Obama has announced up to 300 military advisers would be sent to support Iraq against ISIS. We should continue to avoid sending combat troops back into Iraq." http://kind.house.gov/foreign-affairs (kind.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "As part of my commitment is to protect its solvency, I strongly oppose privatizing Social Security because it would rob money from from the system that is needed to pay benefits for today's seniors. We cannot leave the emergency retirement money of our nation to be subject to the ups and downs of the stock market." http://kind.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=71&sectiontree=3,50,71 (kind.house.gov)
  • "I regard the protection of Social Security as a top priority, and I am concerned about its long term solvency. The past few years have seen numerous proposals for Social Security and Medicare ranging from an increase in payroll taxes to overhaul and partial privatization of the system. I do not believe that a radical overhaul of the Social Security system is the way to ensure payments for current and future retirees." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/371095/issue-position-seniors#.VX7lk3UVhHw (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.

Wisconsin Congressional Election 2012 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 AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I am pro-choice and support the United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which protects a woman's right to choose. I believe that abortions should be rare and safe, and that it should be a decision made between a woman, her family and her doctor, based on her own personal beliefs and faith. Furthermore, I believe that all of us must do more to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, particularly teenage pregnancies, as well as support efforts to make adoption more widely available.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan?
YesDo you support a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan?
Other or expanded principles

Afghanistan must take responsibility for its security, economic reconstruction and self governance so we can get our troops home safe and sound. As we draw down American troops, we must work with the Afghani and Pakistani people to ensure that al Qaeda no longer enjoys safe havens to plot their next attack.

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing the federal budget.

In order to balance the budget,

YesCandidate Answerdo you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate Answerdo you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Yesdo you support reducing Medicaid spending?
Yesdo you support reducing Medicare spending?
YesIs balancing the budget a legislative priority?
Other or expanded principles

I support a balanced plan to address our budget deficits. Both sides need to compromise to put on a more fiscally sustainable path. That means making spending cuts but also asking powerful special interests to contribute their fair share by eliminating tax loopholes. We can also save money in Medicare and Medicaid and improve the quality of care by building on health care reform efforts that are transforming our system into one that delivers higher quality care at a lower cost and eliminates waste in the system. We can do that without reducing any benefits for seniors.

YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I believe that the American people have a right to know who is spending what to influence elections. I support increasing disclosure and strengthening transparency in federal campaigns.

YesDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support the temporary extension of unemployment benefits?
NoDo you support the 2010 temporary extension of tax relief?
Other or expanded principles

I opposed efforts in 2010 to irresponsibly increase the deficit by extending tax relief beyond working families and small businesses to the wealthiest two percent of taxpayers who need them the least. Without finding spending cuts in the budget to pay for cuts for millionaires, the 2010 tax relief legislation added almost $1 trillion to the deficit. We cannot afford to borrow billions of dollars and add to the debt of our children and grandchildren. For those calling for the extension of tax relief for wealthy Wall Street bankers, they should find corresponding spending cuts to pay for them.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles

I support the Administration's Race to the Top Initiative that requires education reforms to be eligible for competitive grants. Not all federal grants should be subject to such requirements but Race to the Top had an important role to play in spurring innovation to improve our schools.

NoInferred Answer Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations
Other or expanded principles

I am willing to support further development of offshore energy production, but the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has clearly shown that we must be very careful in ensuring that we have meaningful oversight to protect the safety of our workers, while minimizing the risk of environmentally destroying our waters.

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesInferred Answer Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations
  • "The Tailoring Rule, itself, represents a compromise. Despite being court-ordered to regulate greenhouse gases, the EPA took into account our fragile economy, and proposed a narrow rule that would exempt the vast majority of stationary sources from any regulation. Through the rule, the EPA takes the appropriate approach to regulating greenhouse gases by only requiring very large, new and expanded emitters to seek permits. My friends on the other side of the aisle, however, believe that the EPA intends to go even further than the Tailoring Rule, and will ultimately implement a tax on energy just as China is beginning to today; but voting for this amendment will prevent the EPA from doing this." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/600421/#.VZxPvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today joined a majority in the House in passing a comprehensive renewable energy bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act, designed to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, lower energy costs, create new jobs, and begin to address global climate change. The bill overall will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 percent of what is needed by 2030 to significantly combat global warming." http://kind.house.gov/latest-news/rep-kind-study-on-biofuels-included-in-house-passed-energy-bill/ (kind.house.gov)
Other or expanded principles

I am wary of a one-size-fits-all approach to the federal regulation of greenhouse gases. Given the difficult regional and national issues that this involves, I have long believed that it is more desirable for Congress to issue further guidance before the EPA singlehandedly begins to regulate these issues.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations
Other or expanded principles

I support current law and do not believe that new restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns should be imposed. As someone who has enjoyed hunting and fishing in scenic western Wisconsin my whole life, I am opposed to any legislation that would prevent law-abiding citizens from owning a gun. As a former local prosecutor, however, I have dealt with the effects of gun violence first-hand, and as a father and a husband, I am convinced that firearms should not fall into the hands of convicted felons.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
YesShould individuals be required to purchase health insurance, as mandated in the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles

The individual responsibility requirement in health care reform is really an upfront fee paid by consumers who choose to pass their health care costs onto everyone with insurance. A study published during the health care reform debate showed that it costs a family over $1,000 in increased health care premiums to pay for the cost shift by providers to make up the lost revenue of those that go without coverage and can't pay their bills. Getting everyone into the system allows the ACA to include the critical patient protections that put consumers back in charge of their health care.

NoInferred Answer Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations
Do you support allowing illegal immigrants, who were brought to the United States as minors, to pursue citizenship without returning to their country of origin?
Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration law by state and local police?
Other or expanded principles

I support comprehensive reform that not only bolsters enforcement of immigration laws but also provides a practical solution for the 12 million undocumented immigrants residing within our borders. I would support legislation that would provide otherwise law-abiding undocumented workers with permanent legal status through a new legalization program as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

YesInferred Answer Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations
  • "This decision marks another step toward full equality for all Wisconsinites. I applaud the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for ruling on the side of equal rights. Clearly, momentum is on the side of marriage equality. The government shouldn't stand in the way of two people who want to make a lifetime commitment to one another." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/932994/rep-ron-kind-statement-on-appeals-court-decision-in-favor-of-marriage-equality-for-wisconsin#.VX7in3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "This decision is an important step toward full equality for all Wisconsinites. If two people want to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for one another, then the government shouldn't stand in the way." https://kind.house.gov/latest-news/rep-ron-kind-statement-on-overturning-of-samesex-marriage-ban-in-wisconsin/ (kind.house.gov)
  • Signed a letter stating "We write to ask you to formally recognize for all federal purposes the marriages between same-sex couples that have been performed in the State of Wisconsin since a federal district judge invalidated the state's constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage on June 6." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/882652/letter-to-eric-holder-united-states-attorney-general-marriage-licenses-for-wisconsin-same-sex-couples#.VX7jP3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations
Should the U.S use military force in order to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

I support the congressional authorization of military force against al Qaeda and its affiliates around the world.

For over two decades, Iran has pursued nuclear weapons in direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which they are a signatory. It is very important that we successfully deter any Iranian attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, both for our allies' national security as well as our own. We should not take any response off the table. I believe that with a multifaceted approach, utilizing diplomacy as well as enacted sanctions, we can ensure that Iran does not gain nuclear weapons.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over Social Security, I am committed to finding responsible solutions to address the long-term financing challenges facing the program. I know we can find a way to ensure Social Security remains strong for today's seniors while making sure future generations can rely on it too. As part of my commitment to protect its solvency, I strongly oppose privatizing Social Security because it would rob money from the system that is needed to pay benefits for today's seniors.

Spending

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

Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Maintain Statuse) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Slightly Decreaseg) International aid
Greatly Increaseh) Medical Research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific Research
Slightly Decreasej) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

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.

Maintain Statusa) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Decreaseb) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusc) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Maintain Statusd) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Maintain Statuse) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
Maintain Statusi) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusj) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories

Individual and corporate tax reform is necessary to broaden the tax base and lower rates to help make our businesses more competitive internationally.

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.

Fostering an environment to help businesses in western Wisconsin create jobs is my number one priority. Though our economy has grown in the last two years, we all know more has to be done to get it back on track creating good paying jobs again.

As a member on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, I'm committed to making the tough decisions to actually cut wasteful and unnecessary spending. I support a balanced plan to address our budget deficits by cutting spending and asking powerful special interests to contribute their fair share by eliminating tax loopholes.

Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.