Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionaire Answers ProgressiveMass.

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Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionnaire Answers Question As a US Senator, you will be asked to make difficult choices about how to preserve our quality of life during hard times and maintain investments in programs that strengthen our country for the future. We expect that our next U.S. Senator will fight for new revenue opportunities, fair tax policy, and budget decisions that support these priorities. a. To raise revenue, make the tax code more progressive, and reduce the federal deficit, please check which, if any, of the following policy options you support: ___ cutting military spending ___ eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction ___ ending tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas ___ ending subsidies for agribusiness ___ taxing inherited wealth at 45% for estates worth more than $3.5million per person and $7million per couple. ___ allowing the Bush tax breaks for incomes over $250,000 expire ___ extending the payroll tax deduction ___ making the expansions of the EITC and the child tax credit permanent ___ raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans (if yes, please indicate the level above which 1. Revenue, Tax Policy and you would impose additional taxes $_______________) ___ other the Deficit Marisa DeFranco __X_ cutting military spending-on unnecessary weapons, the MIC, & overpayment of private contractors; BUT I would raise pay of servicewomen and men ___ eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction __X_ ending tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas __X_ ending subsidies for agribusiness __X_ taxing inherited wealth at 45% for estates worth more than $3.5million per person and $7million per couple. _X__ allowing the Bush tax breaks for incomes over $250,000 expire ___ extending the payroll tax deduction __X_ making the expansions of the EITC and the child tax credit permanent __X_ raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans (if yes, please indicate the level above which you would impose additional taxes) See below. My proposed new brackets would be (subject to further study and review): $1-3 million: 40% $3-5 million: 44% $5-10 million: 45% $10-20 million: 46% $20-100 million: 47% $100 million to $500 million: 48% $500 million and over: 49% Jim King ___ cutting military spending ___ eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction _X_ ending tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas _X_ ending subsidies for agribusiness ___ taxing inherited wealth at 45% for estates worth more than $3.5million per person and $7million per couple. ___ allowing the Bush tax breaks for incomes over $250,000 expire ___ extending the payroll tax deduction ___ making the expansions of the EITC and the child tax credit permanent _X_ raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans (if yes, please indicate the level above which you would impose additional taxes $__750,000 taxable income) Rates: 12, 19, 28, & 38 with 38 on taxable income over $750,000 ___ other minimum income tax on pass-through entities and all individuals Elizabeth Warren

A budget is about finance and economics, but it is also about values. At a time when the federal debt is more than $15 trillion, we need to be smart about the budget and about where and how to cut. Our budget should reflect our values and our commitment to creating a better future for our children and grandchildren. At a time when some big companies are paying nothing in taxes and when profitable industries like oil and gas are getting special breaks, it is shameful that Washington would ask seniors to live on less or tell young people they have to take on more debt for school. Those are not decisions that reflect our values. Budgeting for our future means making smart cuts and smart investments. We need to cut the tax breaks to the oil and gas industry and the loopholes for hedge fund managers. We need to go back to Clinton-era tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. As we wind down two wars, we can make cuts in our defense budget – smart, targeted cuts that preserve our national security. We should get rid of the giveaways in Medicare that prevent negotiating lower drug prices. And we should improve efficiency throughout government by getting tough on fraudulent and abusive practices and by cutting wasteful spending. We all know the tax code is unfair and far too complicated. The statutory corporate tax rate is 35%, but it seems like every few months there’s a new report on big corporations working the system. One recent report showed that, of the big corporations in the S&P 500, 115 paid less than 20% in taxes. Another report claimed that, of 280 of the biggest corporations in the country, 78 paid nothing in taxes during one of the last three years. How is this possible? An army of lobbyists helps create tax loopholes, and an army of lawyers helps these companies take advantage of them – and it’s all perfectly legal. What does that mean for the rest of us? Small businesses are at a competitive disadvantage. We need serious tax reform to make the tax code fairer and simpler. The most profitable corporations should have to pay their fair share. The tax code should not be designed to encourage companies and jobs to go overseas. And those who already have made it big have a responsibility to pay a little bit forward – so the next kid coming along has a chance to make it too. I think the urgent question now is whether we’re going to be able to hold on to the health care reforms that just passed – parents can keep their kids on their health insurance longer, insurance companies can’t discriminate because of pre-existing conditions, seniors get free health care check-ups. Those are the basic rights of our new health care system and there are a lot of people who want to repeal them. I think we need to focus on protecting them and finding new ways to lower costs, which are still too high.

b. Do you support adding tougher enforcement of corporate tax breaks, for instance, by fighting for “clawback provisions” that allow the government to take back corporate subsidies if jobs are 1. Revenue, Tax Policy and not created as promised by the companies? Yes No the Deficit

Yes It is time that corporations start paying their fair share, especially when they are not even doing what the tax breaks they receive are supposed to encourage them to do, which is to create jobs. Corporate tax loopholes cost Americans $100 billion every year. That is $1 trillion over a decade.

No

2. Health Care

3. Social Safety Net

Over 83 million Americans are either uninsured or under-insured. That means that one out of every two adults is one catastrophic injury or illness away from bankruptcy. a. Do you support protecting and implementing the Affordable Care Act and building on this important national health care reform by adding a public option? Yes No Yes—but I’d go even further. See response to c, below. b. Do you support programs to aggressively eliminate health care disparities based on racial and ethnic background and gender? Yes No Yes I am the only candidate on the record in support of Single Payer. Doctors will remain private, and the roughly $400 billion saved every year by eliminating waste would cover comprehensive care for all. Anyone who thinks that we do not already ration our healthcare has not been to an ER or clinic lately or tried to get an appointment with a doctor. Leaving 17% of our population uninsured is de facto healthcare rationing. Insurance companies ratio our healthcare right now. It is also important to change those misguided policies that result in our directly subsidizing our health crisis, especially the subsidies we grant to big agriculture. If we are serious about the health of our country, then we will support local, organic, healthy food production and c. What ideas, policies or legislation do you have in mind to support, or file in order either to also strictly enforce and pass necessary additional rules against animal cruelty. I will call for make good quality health care accessible to all Americans, to reduce health care costs or an end of subsidies to Agribusiness, and redirect our resources to local and organic farms both? and family farms. Yes, no limit My plan is the same plan I have been discussing on the campaign trail for 10 months: lift the In these tight fiscal times, there have been proposals to reduce federal programs such as cap so that everyone pays their fair share on their income. Under the current system, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other forms of assistance for low-income families someone who makes $107,000 pays the same tax as someone who earns $1 million, $10 and individuals to help reduce the national deficit. million, or $1 billion. The current formula is completely regressive and falls a. Do you support raising the current Social Security withholding limit? Yes No disproportionately on the middle class. Millionaires and billionaires need to pay their fair if yes, please indicate what limit, if any, you would set _______________ share. If we lift the cap, Social Security is secure for 75 years.

Yes

Yes

Yes

To begin: repeal McCarran-Ferguson; enact legislation to promote competition for health care insurance and limit insurance company ownwership of hospital and health care providers; renegotiate Medicare payment for prescription drugs.

We must take action to reduce the cost of health care. About half of all families in bankruptcy are there in the aftermath of a serious medical problem, and millions more are under enormous financial pressure when a loved one is ill. Massachusetts has been a leader in developing innovative ways to improve quality while reducing costs, and we are a leader in medical research that can lead to breakthroughs that save both lives and costs. We must do more to lead the way to a more affordable and higher quality system.

No I would support an increase in the limit of 15%

There are a number of options for changing the wage cap, and I would consider these options as a way to secure Social Security in the long run.

Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionaire Answers ProgressiveMass.com
Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionnaire Answers Question Marisa DeFranco Jim King Elizabeth Warren We are in the midst of one of the greatest economic crises in our country’s history – a crisis that began one lousy mortgage at a time. But in spite of the almost quarter of a million families here in the Commonwealth who are underwater in their mortgages and the over 40,000 families who have lost their homes through foreclosures, we still haven’t seen swift and serious action to get the housing market working again. We can’t restart our economy unless we do more to address our housing challenges. As people see foreclosure on the horizon or find themselves underwater, they are less likely to spend – and that is bad for businesses and for the economy as a whole. People can’t move, whether it is to get to a new job or to trade up or trade down for a house that fits their changing circumstances. We need a housing policy that fires on all cylinders: principal write downs, refinancing options for homes that are underwater, cash for keys, short sales. We I do not understand the question. The specific provisions of the legislation would govern my have to take serious and hard steps to get this housing market to level out so that we can support. start rebuilding our economy. That’s true here in Massachusetts and around the country. Yes Yes, but not without limits. Yes We have both a short-term jobs problem and a long-term jobs problem. Right now, we need to put people to work. Without a job and a paycheck, people can’t spend money, and that hurts businesses and depresses the economy. There’s also plenty of work to do – rebuilding our roads, bridges, and water systems, work as teachers’ aides, work weatherizing our homes and offices. The Senate has considered jobs bills that would have supported thousands of jobs here in the Commonwealth, paid for entirely by a small increase in taxes on those making more than $1 million dollars per year. Every Republican voted against these jobs bills. That’s just wrong. The people of Yes Massachusetts need jobs and need them now.

b. Would you support restoring or increasing federal funding to repair existing public housing, to increase the number of rental housing vouchers, and to create new units of affordable housing, including low-income housing? Yes No c. Do you support continued funding for food stamps, extensions of unemployment insurance, transitional assistance to needy families, WIC, etc.? Yes No

Yes Yes

Today more than ever, our leaders are judged on how they intend to increase jobs. Too many appear to believe that the best way to create jobs is to cut taxes on the wealthy. a. If put to a vote, would you support the jobs plan as proposed by President Obama in 4. Jobs, Economic September 2011, which includes, among other things, regulatory reform to help small Development, and Banking businesses access capital, immediate investments in infrastructure, and allowing workbased reforms to the unemployment system to prevent layoffs? Yes No Regulation

Yes, but I don’t believe it goes far enough. See 4(c), below. Yes I strongly support unions and our right as workers to collective bargaining. I am a candidate who consistently and loudly voices my support for unions—I am the only one who said the word and referred to EFCA in the Lowell debate. I am the only one who discussed unions at the Stonehill debate, specifically referencing it when we were asked about how to address b. Do you support allowing working people to bargain for better benefits, wages and working income inequality. I will want their input in developing policy and in taking the message to conditions by eliminating some of the barriers that employers use to discourage workers the people at town halls to get the message out in every community that unions benefit the from forming unions? Yes No economy. Yes I propose and support a Real Deal Jobs Bill, a Green Jobs bill and call for direct investment that puts people to work now. Half-measures that may or may not percolate through the system do not 4

Yes

Yes

cut it. In the short-term, if we invested $100 billion over two years, we could create 2 million green jobs and with $500 billion over 10 years, we could create 5 million green jobs. Currently, corporate tax loopholes cost us $100 billion dollars per year; under my plan, we need just half of that amount, freeing the other half for education and other needs. Additionally: * Raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 and index it to inflation so that working people do not experience flat wages * I support a financial transaction tax between .02 to .25 percent, also referred to as a financial speculation tax, which projects $100 billion per year in revenue. * Place terms on any money the government gives to banks, such as requiring them to make low-interest loans with a certain percentage of the funds (20-30%) to small business so they c. Do you support efforts to invest federal dollars in infrastructure, education, and safety, as can have the access to capital that they need in order to create jobs. For low-interest, I a means to bolster employment? Yes No would cap it at 4%. Yes d. Do you support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (HR 1397/S811) Yes No Yes Yes Yes Additionally, I support foreclosure restructuring. Tell banks that they must restructure loans e. Do you support strengthening federal anti-predatory lending laws while at the same time where they engaged in bad faith behavior or worse, or they will be banned from receiving allowing strong state or local anti-predatory lending laws to remain intact? Yes No any federal funds for five years. Yes

Yes Yes

f. Do you support reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act? Yes No

Yes

Yes

Yes Banking should be boring. But to treat risky activities differently from ordinary banking, we will need a new Glass-Steagall that is designed to address the realities of today’s economic system.

Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionaire Answers ProgressiveMass.com
Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionnaire Answers Question Marisa DeFranco Yes Without question or restriction. Anything less is insulting to women as autonomous human beings who can make their own decisions without 24-hour waiting periods, pictures and infantilizing lectures. No one in this race has the on-the-ground credentials that I have in working to support a woman’s fundamental right to reproductive freedom over the past 15 years. No one. Furthermore, women’s rights do not encompass only repro rights. No one in this race has the credentials I have in working for equal pay and economic justice for women, as well as in many other areas. Jim King Elizabeth Warren

5. Choice, Civil Rights and Immigration

a. Do you support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, as set out in Roe v. Wade? Yes No b. Do you support the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal money to be used for abortion procedures, therefore limiting family planning options for low-income women? Yes No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes I support equal marriage for all and the inclusion of orientation in Title VII, which is decades overdue. Repeal DOMA now. Transgender rights for all (we recently had a great victory here in Massachusetts, but a person’s civil rights should not depend on the vagaries of state law—state-by-state is too slow; we need action on the federal level). I have represented lesbian and gay individuals in discrimination and asylum claims, winning an important case this year for a gay man from Uganda who fled persecution under their abominable laws. I have also advocated for LGBT rights in my capacity as Massachusetts NOW VP of c. Do you support overturning the Defense of Marriage Act? Yes No Legislative Policy and as a member of the WBA’s Legislative Policy Committee. Yes This question makes generalizations that do not accurately capture the situation. First, police can, do and should be able to run fingerprints through the FBI criminal database without the need for Secure Communities. Media and other organizations get this one wrong—they think SC is needed in order to run a criminal FBI check. It is not. Second, what SC implements is running a person’s name through the FBI civil database that contains information on anyone who has ever had contact with CIS, CBP or ICE. This civil database check is the one I oppose. I oppose turning local police into federal agents; it destroys a community’s relationship with local police, and the police’s ability to rely on willing and forthcoming witnesses in the community. If Americans want an orderly immigration system, secure and safe borders, and the lawful deportation of criminals, then we have to pay to support the Federal agencies whose purview it is. Additionally, I propose that we: * Create a permanent category for essential workers (agriculture, hotel & restaurant industries and others) similar to the PERM/I-140 system that we have for professionals. d. Do you oppose the federal "Secure Communities" policy which calls for local and state Create a corollary temporary system modeled on the H-1B that allows workers to be in the law enforcement personnel to enforce federal immigration law, leading to the deportation of U.S. and working while they are on path to a green card. immigrants who have not been convicted of any crime? Yes No * Create a legalization program for undocumented workers, comprising a fine of ~$4000; Yes e. Do you oppose legislation to require voters to show government-issue photo IDs in order to vote? Yes No Yes Yes Yes These provisions will likely be found unconstitutional. It was a mistake for the President to sign this section of NDAA into law. Neither the executive nor the military should have the power to detain without trial. The right to trial and habeas corpus are bedrock principles of our American law. Indefinite Detention provisions are an admission that our justice system is inadequate to deal with the most vile of criminals. It is not inadequate and is quite capable of trying all criminals. Nuremberg is a good model—we gave trials to the worst of the worst. Yes Yes Yes

Yes

Yes We all want dangerous criminals off the street, and we want safer communities. I understand from the police chief of Chelsea and the mayor of Boston that the current version of the secure-communities law doesn’t do that. Instead of making us safer, it erects barriers between police and communities and makes it harder for them to work together. That’s a bad idea.

Yes

f. Do you oppose the “Indefinite Detention” provisions within the National Defense Authorization Bill? Yes No g. Do you support a federal prohibition on racial profiling by all law enforcement officials? Yes No

Yes Our security is essential. Our intelligence, law enforcement, and defense officials have opposed these provisions because they would tie their hands. I was surprised Congress went forward, given their opposition. Yes

Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionaire Answers ProgressiveMass.com
Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionnaire Answers Question Marisa DeFranco Jim King Elizabeth Warren There is nothing so important as the safety of our families and our neighborhoods. Trust and cooperation among neighbors, police, and government are essential for creating a welcoming community for everyone. Businesses can prosper and our families can thrive when communities are safe. The first step toward making us safer is continuing to support our first responders. They work hard every day to keep us safe. Many of them put their lives on the line each and every day. We owe them our thanks and our strong support. It is critical that we listen to them to learn what they need to do their work and that we provide them the resources they need to do their jobs. We must enforce and toughen our gun laws, but we also need to develop new strategies to tackle the problems that so many communities across the Commonwealth are facing. Massachusetts has been a leader in community policing and other innovative strategies to reduce crime. All of us must work together to make our communities safer. In the Senate, I’ll fight for the resources we need to improve safety in our cities and towns. I’ll work with local first responders, as well as with the FBI, DEA, and other agencies to ensure the safety and security of Massachusetts’s families and communities.

h. Do you support a comprehensive plan to assist felons who want to reintegrate themselves into society that includes housing assistance, substance abuse treatment, and job training? Yes No Yes Yes If we fail to reduce global warming pollution significantly, many scientists predict that our We must once and for all put serious money into renewable energy and get off of fossil climate in fuels. We subsidize the latter at a rate of 5 times the former. I would flip those numbers Massachusetts will resemble that of South Carolina’s by the years 2070-2099 along with a immediately. Next, I would implement a 7, 10, or 15-year tax credit program (depending on sea level rise in 10-24 inches. Coastal areas, including parts of Boston, will experience project) for production and investment tax credits for renewable energy projects. Currently, significant shoreline changes and permanent flooding. the credits expire every 2-3 years, and Congress allows them to lapse, creating little incentive for investors. 6. Energy and Environment a. Do you oppose all new or expanded public subsidies for fossil fuels? Yes No Yes Additionally: * Safe “fracking” is an oxymoron. It takes more energy to extract oil from the tar sands than it will produce and the Tar Sands XL pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen. * Mountain-top removal mining destroys communities. * Nuclear power is unsafe, unwise, and unsustainable; moreover, it is “cheap” in terms of b. Do you oppose mining our national parks and the surrounding areas for uranium or other cost only because the taxpayers subsidize it, and we the people take on the liability costs in rare-earth elements? Yes No the event of a disaster.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depends on the specific provisions of the legislation.

7. Education

c. Do you support restoration of the Clean Water Act to its original intent, protecting all of the waterways of the United States. Yes No a. Please pick your top three federal policy solutions to address the school achievement gap. ___ charter schools ___ race to the top ___ smaller classrooms ___ school voucher programs ___ pilot schools ___ bilingual education ___ increased technology in classrooms ___ reducing collective bargaining rights of teachers ___ increasing teacher pay ___ maintaining standardized testing as a ___ graduation requirement ___ measure of teacher performance ___ eliminating standardized testing ___ repeal No Child Left Behind ___ other

Yes

Yes

Yes Yes I strongly support ensuring that our communities have clean water to drink, and I will work to protect rivers and streams. I will defend the Clean Water Act against attack, and I support the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ historic authority to protect wetlands and other bodies of water.

___ charter schools ___ race to the top __X_ smaller classrooms, #1 ___ school voucher programs ___ pilot schools ___ bilingual education ___ increased technology in classrooms ___ reducing collective bargaining rights of teachers __X_ increasing teacher pay, in schools where retention of good teachers is a challenge ___ maintaining standardized testing as a ___ graduation requirement ___ measure of teacher performance ___ eliminating standardized testing __X_ repeal No Child Left Behind ___ other

___ charter schools ___ race to the top _X_ smaller classrooms, ___ school voucher programs ___ pilot schools ___ bilingual education _X_ increased technology in classrooms ___ reducing collective bargaining rights of teachers _X_ increasing teacher pay ___ maintaining standardized testing as a ___ graduation requirement ___ measure of teacher performance ___ eliminating standardized testing ___ repeal No Child Left Behind ___ other

My very first job after college was as a teacher in a public elementary school, working with special needs kids. I saw first-hand how important it is for a child to have great teachers and get a first-rate education. It’s why my first love is teaching, and it is why I am appalled at the frequent attacks on public school teachers around this country. A great teacher can make a huge difference in a child’s life, and we need to invest in getting great teachers in classrooms everywhere. We need to go back to seeing education as an investment in our future. We need to support early childhood education, to give kids a fair shot at success from their earliest days. We need to continue support for school lunch programs so that no child needs to worry more about a growling stomach than about an education. We need to experiment with new ways to close the achievement gap. Here in Massachusetts, schools and nonprofits have taken leadership in expanding the school day and supporting after school and summer programs. We need to work collaboratively with teachers – not against them – to improve the performance of students, teachers, and schools.

8. Foreign Policy

b. Do you support increased federal funding on grants and loans to make higher education more affordable to working families and their children? Yes No a. Do you support the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison? Yes No

Yes I support direct government loans at low rates of no more than 4%, thereby getting the private banks entirely out of the system. Next, make state schools affordable again, and then the private institutions will have to lower tuition to compete. Students graduate with $50,000 to $200,000 in loans; as the richest country in the world, we can do better. A person should not have to go into oppressive debt in order to obtain a college and graduate education. Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionaire Answers ProgressiveMass.com
Progressive Massachusetts Candidate Questionnaire Answers Question Marisa DeFranco Jim King Elizabeth Warren I agree with Attorney General Holder that prosecutions in civilian trials are both consistent with national security and with our nation’s tradition, values, and commitment to the rule of law. But I also recognize that Congress is unlikely to remove its restrictions on civilian trials. In light of that reality, I think we need to ensure that as the military commissions process goes forward, it does so in a way that is in line with both our national security and our values as a nation.

b. Do you support detainee trials in US Federal Courts rather than in military tribunals? Yes No

c. Do you support the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan? Yes No

d. Do you believe the President has the obligation to get Congressional authorization for military action, including providing air support, such as in Libya this past year? Yes No

Yes No Yes I support beginning the withdrawal immediately and bringing the troops home from Afghanistan by December 2012, with no exceptions. The reason I give 12 months is because I know that the logistics involved in bringing back troops and equipment require careful planning. The timing is strictly for logistics—if the military can do it more quickly and still safely, then I support a shorter timeline. Yes Yes And while it isn’t being asked here, I feel it is imperative to be frank on a related issue. Recently, another candidate said of Iran “…nothing is off the table” and “all options are on the table”. Those statements are reckless. I will be plain: We. Are. Not. Going. To. Premptive War. With. Iran. “Nothing off the table/all options are on the table” mean that someone would consider the use of troops on the ground, nuclear weapons, or even germ warfare. It is a neocon line and no true progressive Democrat would utter such words. We are not going to war with Iran for many reasons—two of the top ones being that their allies include China and Russia… This is a very complex question and depends on the specific provisions of the legislation.

Our brave servicemembers have done all that we could have asked them for and more in Afghanistan, but it is time for them to come home. We need to get out as quickly as possible, consistent with the safety of our troops and with a transition to Afghan control. I believe that this can be done faster than the current timeline.

I think the President made a tough call in Libya but that so far it appears to have turned out well. He acted to stop an imminent humanitarian disaster, and did so in way that involved sharing the burden with our European allies and NATO. Our goal now is to encourage a transition to a post-Qaddafi Libya that is democratic, rights respecting, and that can play a productive role in the region.

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