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Michael Cooke's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


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

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Michael Cooke has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2017 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

New Jersey State Legislative Election 2017 Political Courage Test

Pro-choice a) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Yes b) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yes c) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
No d) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
Roe v. Wade is an unwarranted intrusion on a woman's bodily autonomy. The only interest the State has in regulating abortion is to require proper licensing and general safety standards for medical procedures generally, and not special restrictions specifically for any procedure. Roe was a landmark decision in the furtherance of woman's bodily autonomy, but it did not go far enough in preventing government intrusion on personal rights.

1) Budget Stabilization:Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing New Jersey's budget.

No a) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
No b) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
No c) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
Yes d) An income tax increase on any tax bracket
Property taxes are inherently random and therefore unjust. The New Jersey property tax should be replaced with a robust progressive income tax. Therefore, people pay taxes based upon their income and ability to pay, rather than be burdened by a tax that is subject to the whims of the development and real estate markets. In addition, use taxes and fees should be removed as barriers to commerce and the right to use those services that each of us have a right to as citizens.

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
Yes 4) Political Party
Yes b) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yes c) Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
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?
To date, every voter ID law has been revealed as substantially an attempt to limit the electorate rather than encourage voter participation. There is no voter fraud problem that these laws solve.
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?
Yes 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?
Yes f) Do you support delaying the seizure of assets by law enforcement officials until after a conviction?
The War on Drugs and Local enforcement of Immigration law are the greatest threats to public safety. A small percentage relative to the number of people prosecuted become addicted to drugs. Our prohibition laws cause harm to vastly more users than drugs do. Generally, drugs should be decriminalized. A robust program of voluntary rehabilitation and harm reduction should be implemented with a portion of the funds saved from decriminalization, and the sale of drugs that have a high risk for immediate death should be heavily regulated. Immigration is the only area of Federal Law, Local departments are expected to enforce.
Yes a) Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Yes 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 expanding access to unemployment benefits?
No e) Do you support requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits?
Yes f) Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
Yes g) Do you support legalized state-sponsored sports betting in New Jersey?
No h) Do you support a tax on short-term housing rentals in New Jersey?
Massive tax cuts for the wealthy, supported by both parties, have defunded our institutions, and effectively raised taxes on the bottom 99% of people in this State. Our property taxes, our toll roads and bridges, and our sales and use taxes have gone up. Services have gone down. We are getting less for our money and paying more every day. We need to boost the lower and middle classes so that they can open small businesses and support small businesses with their spending power. We need to cut the taxes that are smothering our working people.
No a) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
No b) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yes c) Should immigrants unlawfully present in the United States who graduate from New Jersey high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities in New Jersey?
I support our teachers, our parents, and our students. We need to pay and train more excellent teachers and fewer administrators. We need to spend more money on school buildings, textbooks, and equipment and less on useless standardized tests and failing charter schools. Our "common core" needs to be the talent and training of our teachers that we relied on when we were the first or second most educated state in the nation. Children who live here, like their parents who work here, are Americans. They should be well-educated, because we need them to do the work of this nation.
Yes a) Do you support state funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
Yes b) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yes c) Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
We have a climate emergency. Our District is largely dependent and largely at the will of the Atlantic and the Barnegat Bay. As the changing global climate alters our environment and raises sea levels, our District will be uniquely affected. We must do all we can to lower greenhouse gas emissions, to stop releasing dangerous chemicals and polluting products into the environment, and promote clean, distributed sources of energy.
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 disagree that the 2nd Amendment provides for a personal right to a firearm, but the 9th and 10th Amendments read with the 5th and 14th Amendments provide a personal right to a firearm, subject to ordinary due process. Under our legal tradition, there should be nothing controversial about imposing a responsibility on gun owners to register and take care to safeguard their guns from theft and loss and impose a punishment if they lose track of their firearm. Similarly, there should be no controversy allowing concealed carry if the owner can demonstrate, safety, judgement, and skill with the weapon.
Yes a) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yes b) Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Yes c) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Yes d) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
A Medicare-for-all, single-payer plan is the most economically-responsible way to meet the expectation of each of us that we all have the same world-class medical care as anyone else, regardless of income. Any plan in the interim that provides actual--not theoretical--access to the same world-class medical care as anyone else, regardless of income is a good first step.
Yes a) Do you support same-sex marriage?
Yes b) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in New Jersey's anti-discrimination laws?
Yes c) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in New Jersey's anti-discrimination laws?
The government has no interest in dictating what a person's marital status, sexual identity, or gender identity. It has a duty to assure all people are treated equally under the law. It has long been the tradition of this country to protect people from private discrimination in the public square. It is settled law that the government cannot enforce private actions that operate to discriminate by protected class. LGBTQ should be a protected class in Federal and New Jersey Law.
My top three priorities are to: 1) Save lives and our economy by ending the War on Drugs and regulating the small number of acutely-deadly drugs and regulate the others like other foods and over-the-counter drugs. 2) Fundamentally redesigning our tax system to relieve the middle class and working poor from the punitive taxation that is the consequence of giving the wealthiest 1% a vastly tax-free income. 3) Advocate for a larger share of Federal spending, up from the 40% return on tax dollar that N.J. receives now.

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