One thing I strive to do with monoblogue is inform the voters of my area about those who they’ll be asked to select from in upcoming elections. As I’ve often said I hate politics based on sound bites and thirty second commercials.
Back on September 8, I sent out what I call the Ten Questions to five of the candidates who are seeking the First District Congressional seat. Incumbent Wayne Gilchrest and challengers Andy Harris, Joe Arminio, John Leo Walter, and Christopher Robinson were all sent a copy based on contact addresses from their website. (There was no e-mail contact noted on Frank Kratovil’s and to be quite honest it slipped my mind until just now to send him a snail-mail copy. If a Kratovil supporter wants to help me out and supply an e-mail contact that would be fine too.) Maybe it’s just another survey to them but it’s citizen journalism in my eyes and I had multipartisan participation last year when I did this for U.S. Senate and local General Assembly candidates.
The idea behind the Ten Questions was to help the voters get a feel for how they’d approach a number of issues I and most likely many others in the First District deemed of great importance. In no particular order my questions ask about energy independence, taxation, infrastructure spending, illegal immigration, health insurance, federal mandates, the Long War, ethics in Congress, trade and job creation, and who they’d prefer to work with in the Oval Office. I thought I put together a broad spectrum of questions that sought basic answers on how these aspirants thought best to attack these issues – unfortunately thus far I’ve been met with nothing but silence.
The goal of this was to devote a particular post to each candidate’s answers, with a small amount of editorial content at the end. (You can find examples from last year under the “Ten Questions” category along the left-hand column.) Then around the first of February, the idea was to have separate debate-style posts for the Republicans and Democrats so voters in each party could compare and contrast their views, informing the electiongoing public where these men stand. And it’s free publicity for the campaigns.
However, 37 days have elapsed since I sent out these questions and I have zero responses. It makes me wonder what all of the candidates are trying to hide (excepting Mr. Kratovil, of course.) Certainly some have their hot-button issues on their websites, but this exercise was intended to force some more specifics out of them. However, they can answer with six paragraphs or six words, it’s their choice.
Maybe it’s time for my loyal readers to put some pressure on their candidates to answer my questions. I tried to write them in a balanced manner and present some alternatives because I knew the intended targets had viewpoints all over the political spectrum. Also, if some of my non-local readership would like to ask these questions of their own candidates, let me know and I’ll send you a copy for your use (with proper source credit, of course.)
Otherwise, I’m just left to wonder why they’re afraid to answer the questions of one First District voter. Personally, I feel that if they don’t want to answer my questions then just say so – while I’m not going to be happy about that at least I have a response to judge them by. But I reserve the right to let my readers know of their recalcitrance.