Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot buttoning the council candidates for office

Thinking back over what a useful resource the "Hot Button" voting record spreadsheet (linked in the previous post) is, I wondered if it would be possible to create one relaying the non-incumbent council challengers' stances on the issues. Also prompting my musing over this is that a couple of months ago I asked District 8 candidate Nancy VanReece to list a couple of issues she would oppose Mayor Karl Dean on. She balked at giving me an answer other than that I should not question whether she would be independent. I thought her reply was a cop-out, but I wished I had the time to attend her public appearances and document the issues she advocated to see if any of them would represent a hint of a break with the Mayor's Office.

So, I'm wondering now whether it might be feasible to set up a public spreadsheet on Google Docs and to "crowdsource" the publicly stated positions on various hot button issues of all of the challengers for the open council seats. Would it be feasible for those who have followed the campaigns and debates to help curate such a list so that voters can understand where the candidates stand? Or much like VanReece's response to me, are the positions that the candidates take in public so vague and noncommittal (some community organizers might call them "wishy-washy") that such a project would not be helpful and would be improbable?

One indication to me that such a project might be feasible is if the comment section below starts to grow with personal anecdotes on what voters who attended campaign events have heard candidates say. Anyone have anything to share? Keep in mind that anonymous comments may not be given the same benefit of the doubt as those made by people who share their real identities.

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