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Jerry Costello's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Illinois Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test

Pro-life a) 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?
Yes d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Yes e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
I support the Hyde amendment.

1) SpendingIndicate 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.2) TaxesIndicate 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.

a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
1) Intelligence operations
2) Military hardware
3) National missile defense
4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
6) Research and development of new weapons
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland security
g) International aid
h) Medical research
i) Scientific research
j) Space exploration
k) United Nations
l) Welfare
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Status f) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Status g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increase h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
Yes 3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
Yes 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
I have voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment previously, and I still support it. However, currently we would need some period of time to phase in the requirement.
No a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
c) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yes d) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yes e) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
Some industries will need stronger regulation as conditions warrant, such as my recent support of stronger regulation of the financial services industry. I have supported minimum wage increases in the past and it needs to be evaluated periodically to make sure it maintains a reasonable degree of earning power.
No a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yes b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
No c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yes d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yes e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Yes f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
I have voted for the line item veto and I have voted for comprehensive campaign finance reform.
Yes a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yes b) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yes c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Yes d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
I have supported mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes in the past, and these policies need to be periodically re-evaluated to ensure effectiveness. I recently voted to address the disparity in sentences between crack and powder cocaine.
Yes a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yes b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
No d) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yes e) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
I support a limited amount of federal resources going toward charter schools; the bulk of our funding should support our public schools.
b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
No c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yes d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
Yes e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yes f) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Yes g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
Unknown Position a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
We need to take a balanced approach to our national energy policy, investing in renewables while maximizing the cleanest possible production of coal and petroleum. I voted against "cap and trade," but am not against reasonable efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Yes b) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
Yes c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
No d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
No a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yes a) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yes b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
c) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yes e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
I am not against expanding tax-free medical savings accounts; it is an option, not a necessity. I have voted against damage caps for malpractice suits and believe this issue is best handled at the state level. Illinois voted several years ago to enact such caps, and the law was found to be unconstitutional.
No b) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
Yes c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
Unknown Position a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
The first step to a comprehensive national immigration policy is to continue our emphasis on border security, which has resulted in more deportations and less border arrests, indicating that illegal immigration is decreasing. I am against a general amnesty, as immigration reform must not penalize those going through the legal immigration process. I support making English the official language of the U.S.
No b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
d) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yes e) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yes f) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yes g) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yes h) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
i) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
No a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
I am in favor of removing our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible as it is time to let these countries take responsibility for their futures. This is not to say we should have no influence in the region and cannot strike militarily, but we clearly cannot afford to maintain the type of presence we have had over the last decade in either country. I support fair trade, and have voted against trade agreements such as NAFTA that have made it easier to move good-paying American jobs overseas.
Yes a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
b) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
No c) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
No d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
I defer to military leadership on the question of whether openly gay men and women should serve in the military. When military leadership believes that the "don't ask, don't tell," policy should be changed, I will support the change. I support federal funding of adult stem cell research.
My first priority is to protect Social Security and Medicare from privatization. Second, I will continue to work to create jobs and maintain economic growth through increased infrastructure investment in all modes of our transportation system. Infrastructure investment creates good-paying jobs and leaves us with valuable assets and a more efficient economy. Removing our troops from Iraq would save the money necessary to do this. Third, I will also continue to pursue the research and development of advanced clean coal technologies to protect our economy and the environment. Current funding sources should be sufficient for this work.

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