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Peter Rush's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

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Peter Rush has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2015 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Virginia State Legislative Election 2015 Political Courage Test

Pro-choice a) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
No b) Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yes c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yes d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
No e) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
No f) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
No g) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
No h) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
I object to the use of "pro-life" to describe those opposed to abortion, unless those so inclined are also pro-life when it comes to the born, meaning supporting help for families in poverty trying to raise children with inadequate funds to do so properly, supporting expansion of Medicaid which will save lives of people too poor to otherwise get medical attention for life threatening conditions, etc. I believe I am very strongly "pro-life" in the truest, most meaningful way to understand that term, favoring programs to provide jobs, fight drug addiction, reform prison sentencing, etc.

1) Budget Stabilization:Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Virginia's budget.2) State Spending:Using the key, 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.3) State Taxes:Using the key, 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.

No a) Tapping into Virginia's "rainy day" fund
No b) Decreasing funding for public universities
No c) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
No d) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
No e) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
Greatly Increase a) Education (higher)
Greatly Increase b) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increase c) Environment
Slightly Increase d) Health care
Greatly Decrease e) Law enforcement/corrections
Greatly Increase f) Transportation/infrastructure
Slightly Increase g) Welfare
Slightly Increase a) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Increase b) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status c) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decrease d) Small business taxes
Slightly Increase e) Gas/Oil taxes
Maintain Status f) Property taxes
Maintain Status g) Sales taxes
Greatly Decrease h) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Status i) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Greatly Increase j) Income taxes (high-income families)
Austerity feeds a downward spiral. It is self cannibalism. I stand with Keynes, that government must deficit spend its way out of recession, and resulting increases in tax revenues from the added jobs will permit paying back the borrowed money and then some. Bond issues is one way to generate funds to create jobs. So would creating a state Infrastructure Investment Bank. We must grow our way out of an imbalanced state budget, not cut our way out.
We need to greatly decrease our incarceration rates, above all of blacks who are grossly disproportionately in our prisons. We need to raise teacher salaries to at least the national average, decrease class size, make pre-K available to all, greatly expand vocational training opportunities for students. We need to make college more affordable, and community college free. We don't need a lot more spent on the environment per se, but we need investment in clean, renewable energy to fight climate change. We need major investment to fix infrastructure and create jobs.
We need to see if some corporations are using loopholes to avoid paying the 6% tax all are supposed to pay. I favor keeping the tax rate constant, but if there are corporations raking in millions or even billions in profits but paying no tax as happens at the Federal level through phony losses and other gimmicks, Virginia should close those loopholes. Otherwise, the income tax should be made more progressive, lower taxes for the bottom end, higher taxes for the top end, no change in the middle.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?

Yes 1) Individual
Yes 2) Political Action Committee
Yes 3) Corporate
No 4) Political Party
No b) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yes c) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yes d) Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
No e) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
I don't understand how voluntary spending limits would work. ideally, campaigns should be publicly funded, with enough money to get the word out to voters. Totally opposed to unlimited corporate, individual or PAC money. Very strongly favor independent redistricting (NOT bi-partisan, keep the politicians out of it)
No a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yes b) Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
No c) Do you support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
No d) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
No e) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
I support decriminalization for possession of small amounts of marijuana. I think legalization sends the wrong message that it is "OK"--it is still a narcotic drug and its use should carry a fine. There are cases when a minor accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as an adult--it needs to be case by case (and depends also on the age and mental health of the individual).
Yes a) Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
No b) Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
No c) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yes d) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Yes e) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Yes f) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Yes g) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Yes h) Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
The lowering tax question is too non-specific. I favor lowering taxes for lower income, and raising them for higher income. And if there is a surplus, lowering them for middle income can be stimulative. But I do not believe that lowering taxes in a slack economy helps the economy as much as the loss of State revenue to spend for needed programs hurts the economy. I believe that most job creation needs to be in the private sector, and that providing financial incentives for job creation is an essential means to jump-start the economy.
Yes a) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
Yes b) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
No c) Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?
No d) Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?
No e) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yes f) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
Yes g) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Virginia high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
I don't believe that tenure for teachers, by itself, speaks one way or the other to producing effective teachers. I support tenure, but it should not be absolute--chronically ineffective teachers must be liable to being let go. I support funding for charter schools that are under control of city or county school boards and that hire regular teachers, but not independent charter schools.
Yes a) Do you support state funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
No b) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
Yes c) Do you support state funding for improvements to Virginia's energy infrastructure?
Yes d) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yes e) Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
Yes f) Do you support increased regulations of the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
Strongly support investment in renewable energy, for job creation, tackling climate change and fostering emerging new technologies that will shape our future. Fracking frightens me, Oklahoma's earthquakes may be caused by fracking, needs much longer track record and study before it's worth the risk.
Yes a) Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
Yes b) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yes c) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Yes d) Should a license be required for gun possession?
I support sensible gun legislation. The freedom to own and carry guns should be considered together with the freedom of people not to be subject to injury or death by gun violence. Background checks must rule out mentally unfit, criminals, and others (like spouse abusers).
Yes a) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yes b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yes c) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Yes d) Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
No e) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
No f) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yes g) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
I don't really know what "commercial health insurance reform" means. I favor single-payor health insurance which cuts out the insurance companies. As long as we have to have health insurance companies, I'm in favor of anything which provides more and better coverage for people. I'm not sure what "health insurance compacts" are, but I'm in favor of letting insurance companies operate nation-wide. I oppose forcing people to purchase health insurance because I support single-payor, but under the current law, it appears to be a necessary part of it.
Yes a) Do you support same-sex marriage?
Yes b) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Virginia's anti-discrimination laws?
Yes c) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Virginia's anti-discrimination laws?
d) Other or expanded principles:
Education, jobs and healthcare and environment. Pre-K, higher teacher salaries, smaller class sizes, expansion of vocational training, free community college for education. Invest in infrastructure and renewable energy to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The resulting stimulus will have ripple effects that will increase tax revenues to help pay for higher spending on education, and for costs of the stimulus. Also, expand Medicaid, which will bring back $2 bil a year and create 30,000 health sector jobs, further helping state revenues. Reduce spending for incarceration by adopting prison and sentencing reform.

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