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John Harris' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: Commissioner (Lee County, AL) - District 5
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John Harris has demonstrated Political Courage by telling citizens where he stands on the issues he may face if elected.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Alabama Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage Test


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 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.
Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

As a representative of people I uphold the right of a woman to choose because that is the law, and I believe we must respect the rights of others and not infringe on those rights. As a Christian I believe life is a sacred gift and should be preserved. Others before me have proven you can serve your constituents while maintaining your religion.

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

I support the Commander-in-Chief's position as he has excellent advisors who do nothing but assess the situation on a continuous basis and make recommendations.

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?
Nodo you support reducing Medicaid spending?
Nodo you support reducing Medicare spending?
YesIs balancing the budget a legislative priority?
Other or expanded principles

I will reduce defense spending to the level required for the US to accomplish its goals. We must restructure our tax code so we are all paying our fair share for the freedoms and infrastructure that we share. Medicare and Medicaid enable all of us to bear the burden of taking care of those who need medical care. We will all need medical care as we age, so we should all pay for the care. We are paying a greater price in hospital costs for those seeking medical attention who could not afford it when they were less ill.

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

We should remove money from campaigns altogether by having the media and Public Television provide equal amounts of time for debates among the candidates with some time for commentary. Other countries have moved to this way of campaigning and it works better than what we do here now. Campaign commercials are often blatant lies and do not usually change the minds of voters. Those resources would be better spent wiping out hunger, disease, poverty and providing educational opportunities to all who seek them. It is estimated that US Representatives spend over half of their working time raising money for elections.

NoDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles

Eye witness testimony is some of the worst evidence as people's memories of what they see can be completely wrong. We know that innocent people have been put to death, and that is not right. Further, I don't believe most criminals think about the consequences of their actions anyway, or they would not be committing crime. As a Christian I cannot condone the taking of a life. The crime rate is usually about equal to the high school drop-out rate, so educating our youth to at least that level is the key to a productive and happy society.

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?
YesDo you support the 2010 temporary extension of tax relief?
Other or expanded principles

For the last 24 years as a representative of my constituents, I have worked to promote economic development through many innovative ways, including the ones listed above. Those who are unemployed or underemployed got that way because of greed among the wealthiest Americans who want to insure that we don't make them pay their fair share. While we are fixing the economy globally by working together, we must take care of those who can't find work or enough work.

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

Education is essential for our country and the world to move forward, to solve problems we ourselves have created. We have models of excellent schools, teachers, and students. We must utilize what is proven to work. The problem with "No Child Left Behind" is that we keep the others who could be excelling behind with them. The Gates Foundation has established "Early College," which allows those capable to do college coursework while in high school, rather than wasting time and money. We must establish national standards for students and look at other ways to not be wasteful.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Other or expanded principles

Given what happened in the Gulf of Mexico and the continuing price the animal/plant life are paying, we cannot afford to move backwards. We have growing technologies that will help eliminate our need for oil, from here or elsewhere, and I am working on several projects that implement these technologies for the counties in the 3rd Congressional District and beyond. As a Representative of my district, my job will be to help as many people as I can wherever they are and prevent us from ruining the only planet we all have to live on for now!

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

Carbon and other gas emissions have been proven to affect our climate. One climatologist recently proved that pollution flowing into our West Coast is causing a drop in precipitation due to the carbon being in the clouds. This has led to a dramatic increase in wildfires in that region right now. Yes, the polar ice caps have melted in previous geologic time, but will we be able to live in a world that is decidedly hotter with more desert areas at a time when we need more and more food for the people on this planet?

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Other or expanded principles

We must try to keep guns away from certain people who are not mentally fit to have a weapon in their possession. Many criminals have bipolar or other mental disorders, and if not caught and treated, they often don't finish high school, which leaves them few options for employment. Most people with mental illness often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which can help lead to criminal behavior. I find that my constituents who routinely carry concealed weapons don't mind going through a background check every time they buy a weapon.

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

States mandate that car owners have insurance. Without health insurance for everyone, we are paying a higher price for our health care, in order for hospitals to provide care to the poor, who could have had their health situation addressed by health care professionals when the problem was not as severe and wouldn't require as much resources to fix. One way or the other we will pay for health care for the poor, but if it is less costly to have insurance, then we have a lower overall cost. This is simple math for those who have no compassion.

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

Illegal aliens come to this country to work. Criminals should be sent home. We have seen the negative impacts in my state by enforcing ill-conceived laws. Our economy relies on the labor they provide, and so we should offer citizenship to them and quit wrecking an economy that is on the mend here and globally. The waste to make them go back is insane. Children who were brought to this country believe this IS their country and we should let working families stay together instead of costing them money and heartache.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

As a Christian, I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman. I do see the discrimination to same sex couples in not having the same benefits as heterosexual couples and that is not American. I support some sort of union that would eliminate this discrimination. God makes each of us the way we are, and we are commanded to love and care for our fellow human beings and the creatures of God set forth on the planet.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
YesShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

We must do what we have to, to protect America and her allies. The US should do everything in its power to operate from a global, united perspective. If the UN fails to be effective, then we would have to weigh our options. With the Stuxnet and similar technologies, economic sanctions, drones, robots, and effective diplomacy, we may be on our way to a more diplomatic and democratic world, in which resources would be more plentiful and no families would have to bury those killed in action.

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

Social Security was designed to be a way for everyone to have at least what they needed in their senior years when they can no longer work. It's just like health insurance- we all need it. We must grow the economy to shore up Social Security, and not let the ultra-rich keep trying to make it go away. The very name says it all, "social security." People at the low end of the income spectrum can't make enough money to cover the expenses of their elderly family members, and if Social Security was scrapped, we would see open revolt.

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.
Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Slightly Increased) Education
Maintain Statuse) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Maintain Statush) Medical Research
Maintain Statusi) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

To grow the economy, we will need stimulus dollars to repair and maintain infrastructure. Teachers need good pay to attract and keep good teachers. We need to utilize technologies that keep us from burning fossil fuel such as videoconferencing and online classes. Students must be molded to have a desire for life-long learning. We must continue to challenge our students in STEM. We must continue to invest in viable alternative fuel technology. As the economy continues to recover, we can bring spending levels back where they need to be to accomplish the goals of our great nation.

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

Our tax structure should be such that we all pay our fair share. Because the upper-income families have enjoyed tax breaks that allow them to pay less tax than lower and middle-income families, we need to increase the amount of tax they pay for a period of time that allows all of the shortfalls to righted, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid among others. Then we need to examine what method of taxation would be the most fair to everyone. Whatever the numbers reveal for all proposed plans, the best plan is the one we should all agree upon.

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.
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