[Vision2020] Challenge to the candidates: What's up with Weber &Lambert?

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Sat Oct 15 22:19:05 PDT 2005

Donovan, in discussing how candidates for public office should interact with 
questioners, insists:  "Some questions are not worth answering and some 
should not be asked . . . "

This attitude would have bothered me even if I weren't an elected public 
official, and yet, a mere six months after the Moscow School District bond 
issue, I'm reminded of the hours and hours I spent  on Vision 2020 answering 
questions posed to me.  I'm pretty sure most of you remember that time and 
haven't missed my gazillion posts on security fencing and flood levels, 
meeting minutes and community demographics.

That was a rough time for me, personally and politically.  I think I would 
not be out of line if I pointed out that some of the questions, as well as 
some of the questioners, were less than reasonable and respectful.  Some of 
them were downright nasty, and I took some hits.  But so what?  That's what 
you sign up for when you decide to serve in a public position.  If you can't 
answer questions respectfully, even when the motivation behind them isn't 
respectful -- even when it's pretty much a harangue and a rant from someone 
thoroughly disagreeable -- then you really ought to stay out of the fray.  
One person may ask a question, in good faith or bad, but hundreds of other 
folks have the same concerns, and they ALL deserve an answer.  I don't think 
that it was up to me to decide if anybody in particular was "worthy" of the 
time it took for me to explain something,  especially if I'm in elected 
office and asking for their support on an issue.  My time is valuable, yeah 
-- but explaining and defending a bond proposal as a school board trustee 
struck me as a pretty important way to spend it.  You should expect that 
from candidates and those already serving.  I do.

Obviously there are exceptions -- "none of your business"-type personal 
questions and specific comments on issues on which I have to vote or where 
there's a possible conflict of interest are two -- but over all, I'm going 
to come down on the side of openness and accountability.  It seems, given 
our dialogue this spring, more than a little ironic that Donovan and I 
should disagree on that one, but there you have it.

keely emerine mix

From: Donovan Arnold <donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com>
To: josephc at mail.wsu.edu, vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Challenge to the candidates: What's up with Weber 
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 13:34:26 -0700 (PDT)

"All candidates have an obligation to answer any
questions that any citizen or any citizen’s group has
to ask."-Joe Campbell

No they do not. That is what is part of what is wrong
with our election system, people think this way. Some
questions are not worth answering and some should not
be asked. This attitude keeps people that would be
civil servants out of the public service. It really is
upsetting to see some of these good people out of our

It is up to each candidate to decide what is an
appropriate question and how to respond. It is up to
each voter to decide how to react to those responses
and non-responses.

I choose to withhold judgment on the two men that did
not respond, giving them the benefit of the doubt that
they had good reason not to respond until I find out
more information.

Many questions are just "gotcha" questions designed to
put one of the candidates at an unfair disadvantage.

The Taxpayer's Party sends out a totally biased set of
questions for candidates to answer. It also asks the
candidates to sign a pledge not to raise taxes. This
is biased because it does not give exceptions. Most
special interest groups do this sort of thing all the

I apologize for jumping to the conclusion that the
Vision2020 comments were designed by MCA, which as far
as I know, I am still a member of. I assumed that they
were because Bill London and Bruce Livingston were the
ones that told us about the question and are active
members of MCA.

Nonetheless, I think the questions are biased. But you
are not under any obligation to agree with me. That is
just my opinion and how I see the questions and lack
of questions presented.

To say that all candidates must answer all questions
and there is no legitimate reason not to answer them
is myopic.

Donovan J Arnold

--- josephc at mail.wsu.edu wrote:

 > Thanks for the clarification, Bruce!
 > The questions to which Bruce, Tom, and Donovan are
 > alluding are found here:
 > http://vision2020.moscow.com/Election/
 > If you read the website it says: “A Moscow Vision
 > 2020 committee composed
 > sets of questions, sent the questions to the
 > candidates of the following
 > electoral races, and collected the answers from the
 > candidates.” It
 > doesn’t say anything about the MCA here, as Donovan
 > implies above.
 > Furthermore, even if the questions were put forth by
 > the MCA why would
 > that matter? Donovan, for instance, has just offered
 > an endorsement of Bob
 > Stout, the very same candidate that the MCA endorsed
 > for council and
 > someone who I personally endorse, as well. Does that
 > mean that the other
 > candidates have no obligation to answer any
 > questions that Donovan or I
 > might have to ask before the election? Of course
 > not!
 > All candidates have an obligation to answer any
 > questions that any citizen
 > or any citizen’s group has to ask. It is part of the
 > process by which we
 > may all collect information in order to make
 > INFORMED decisions on
 > Election Day.
 > I for one will use the FAILURE to answer questions
 > put forth by a
 > citizen’s group as a reason for NOT voting for a
 > candidate and I encourage
 > the rest of you to do so as well. Nor should it
 > matter whether it is a
 > liberal or conservative group which puts forth the
 > questions. As I see it,
 > this is one way that we can ensure that the
 > electoral process is as fair
 > and rational as possible.
 > Let’s apply some pressure on the candidates to speak
 > out on the issues
 > that concern us so that we can find out what our
 > choices really are! This
 > isn’t a popularity contest. It is an election that
 > involves the future of
 > our community.
 >  List services made available by First Step
 > Internet,
 >  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
 >                http://www.fsr.net
 >           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005

  List services made available by First Step Internet,
  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com

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