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Craig Blair's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)



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What is the 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.

West Virginia State Legislative Election 2012 Political Courage Test

Pro-life a) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Yes 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?
Yes e) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yes f) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yes g) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
Yes h) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
Since abortions are currently legal at the federal level, I would support any state legislation requiring a mandatory waiting period (except for when a women's life is endangered) and parental notification for abortions on minors. Simply stated, an unborn child is the most innocent form of life. As a father of two, I believe that children are a gift from God. Abortion as a form of birth control is unacceptable.

1) 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.2) 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.3) Budget Stabilization:Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing West Virginia's budget.

Maintain Status a) Education (higher)
Maintain Status b) Education (K-12)
Maintain Status c) Environment
Maintain Status d) Health care
Maintain Status e) Law enforcement/corrections
Slightly Increase f) Transportation/infrastructure
Greatly Decrease g) Welfare
Eliminate h) Other or expanded categories:
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Decrease c) Corporate taxes
Greatly Decrease d) Gas/Oil taxes
Slightly Decrease e) Property taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Sales taxes
Maintain Status g) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Status h) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Maintain Status i) Income taxes (high-income families)
Eliminate j) Other or expanded categories:
No a) Tapping into West Virginia's "rainy day" fund
No b) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Yes c) Reducing or eliminating public worker collective bargaining
No d) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
No e) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
No f) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
Prevailing Wage. Statistics show that on average, the Prevailing Wage adds an additional 30% to the overall cost of projects such as roads, bridges, water & sewer lines, school & government buildings, libraries .... anything that may have tax dollar funding. West Virginia already has the highest per mile highway cost because of terrain. Elimination would produce a combined expected yearly savings exceeding $300 million. Our homes aren't built using prevailing wage rates and neither should "our taxpayer's dollars" be wasted on artificially high wages for public works projects.
I favor Eliminating the Food Tax; Increasing the Homestead Exemption or equivalent; Capping Property Tax increases; Reducing the Corporate Net to 6%; Eliminating the Business Franchise Tax; Eliminating the Inventory Tax; Eliminating the Personal Property Tax on Manufacturing Equipment & Machinery; I favor lowering all taxes to be competitive with our surrounding states. If these tax reforms were implemented the lost revenues would be recaptured in the form of increased employment and increased wages due to the greater demand on the West Virginia workforce. In just a matter of few years West Virginia wages would greatly increase.
Where's the question about reducing the size of state and local government through attrition? West Virginia has the same population numbers today as it did in 1950, yet government overall is now four times larger. This means more government bureaucracy which equates to higher taxes, more paperwork hassles and a huge deterrent to private sector job creation. True national wealth comes from turning raw materials into consumable products, thus more and better paying jobs.

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

No 1) Individual
No 2) Political Action Committee
No 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?
Yes e) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
I believe in term limits. I think this perspective represents good, honest leadership. As for campaign financing, I refused to accept any funding when I first ran for office because I did not know who to trust. I now understand that I only need to trust one person and that's me. I'm always about merit of the issue, my vote can't be bought. Campaign money flows like water. The more that elected officials do to restrict campaign funding, the worse it becomes.
Yes a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
No b) Do you support reducing prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes?
Yes c) Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
No d) Do you support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
Yes e) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
f) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Yes g) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
I would adopt the policies of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has instituted needed reforms at Phoenix's Maricopa County Jail. He established the tent city for inmates where more than 2,000 inmates live without smoking, coffee, pornographic magazines, movies and unrestricted television. Meals cost less than 20 cents. He also instituted the only accredited high school in an American jail. That, along with an anti-drug program, resulting in a high percentage of his inmates leaving without their addictions and never to return. (Minors using cell phones. It's wrong, however how would you enforce such a law without invasion of privacy?)
Yes a) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yes b) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
No c) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
No d) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
e) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
No f) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Tax credits are corporate welfare schemes disguised as economic development that do not work. Job creation can only be accomplished by reworking our constitution, reforming our court systems, reducing taxes, equal reductions in spending, and doing it with conviction. Industry will take notice! More jobs in our state will create a greater demand on our workforce thus increasing wages so that our workers wages will be on par with surrounding states which on average receive $10,000 dollars more a year than the average West Virginian. (Question e cannot be answered with yes or no. Call for explanations. 304-671-9363)
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?
Yes d) Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?
Yes e) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
Yes f) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
No g) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from West Virginia high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
By eliminating the Prevailing Wage which adds 30% to the cost of all public works projects, like school buildings. The savings would be roughly $300 million. Take half of this amount and apply to teachers and state employees salaries. Over half of the recipients of the Prevailing Wage are out of state workers. We should take care of resident employees first. The same groups who oppose Locality Pay, support Prevailing Wage, even though both are calculated county by county. The bottom line is: The flagperson at a school construction site currently makes more than the teacher that will be within.
No a) Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?
No b) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
No c) Do you support increased regulations on mountaintop removal mining and disposal?
No d) Do you support increased regulations on hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" in the Marcellus Shale?
No e) Do you support state funding for improvements to West Virginia's energy infrastructure?
No f) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
No g) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Raleigh County has created West Virginia's best recycling program. We need just such a program in the Eastern Panhandle. Most everything is recycled and stored until best rate of return. Labor is provided by inmates. To learn more visit: Our state and nation needs to become energy independent through conservation and by using both traditional and alternative energy production. Affordable energy maintains jobs and protects our current standard of living.
No a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
No 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?
No d) Should a license be required for gun possession?
I oppose gun control initiatives because it can potentially cause an increase in crime by restricting the deterrent effect. The elimination or reduction of firearms restricts the lawful use for self-defense. When Florida began allowing people to carry a concealed weapon, Florida's firearm homicide rate fell by 37% while the national average rose 15%. Studies show that Americans use firearms to defend themselves from criminals at least 764,000 times a year. Surveys of imprisoned criminals found that 34% of them had been scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim.
No 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?
No d) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Yes e) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yes f) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
I support a concept product called Workers' Comp Plus. Every worker would have higher deductible health insurance along with Workers' Comp, paid by the employer. Workers would no longer pay a percentage of their health insurance premium. Instead, workers would pay into a health insurance/workers' comp deductible savings account. This plan would provide 24/7 health coverage and the healthier the lifestyle and the safer the worker, the larger their deductible savings account would grow, possibly being matched by the employer similar to a 401k. This healthcare plan would reduce healthcare costs, lower premiums, improve safety and facilitate accountability.
Yes a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
b) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
No c) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in West Virginia's anti-discrimination laws?
No d) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in West Virginia's anti-discrimination laws?
I also support the Joint Parenting Act. Children in true shared custody arrangements have fewer behavioral and emotional problems, higher self-esteem, better family relationships and school performance compared to those in one predominant parent situations. Children from divorced families are better adjusted when they live with both parents at different homes or spend significant time with both parents compared with children who interact predominantly with only one parent. Frequent and regular contact with both parents makes for a better end result. Children of divorce should always come first. (Questions a & b: Voters should decide by constitutional amendment.
Increasing the Homestead Exemption for Seniors; Reform Legislation that Puts Children First in Child Custody Cases; Totally Eliminate the Food Tax; Eliminate the Business Franchise Tax; Reduce the Corporate Net to the Competitive Rate of 6%; Eliminate the Personal Property Tax on Manufacturing Equipment; Eliminate Prevailing Wage; Establish Locality Pay for Teachers & State Employees. With West Virginia ranking at the top of most bad categories and the bottom of most good categories, there's still plenty of work that needs to be done.

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