Candidate questionnaire explores democracy issues

LANSING – The Michigan Campaign Finance Network and a diverse group of organizations have joined to ask the 512 primary election candidates for the Michigan Legislature a series of 37 questions on issues related to the health of our democracy. Results of the survey are now available on the web site www.mcfn.org.

The questions fall into the subject areas: registration and voting; campaign finance contribution limits; soft money and “issue ads”; public financing of campaigns; campaign finance reporting; personal financial disclosure; ethics and enforcement; lobbying; term limits; and, redistricting.

Roughly 20 percent of all candidates answered the questionnaire, including five incumbent state senators and 16 incumbent state representatives.

Organizations that participated in the project included the League of Women Voters of Michigan, Common Cause in Michigan, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan AFL-CIO, the Michigan Environmental Council, the Michigan Prospect for Renewed Citizenship, the Michigan chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW), the Triangle Foundation, Voters’ Voice of Livingston County, the Huron Valley Gray Panthers and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

“The organizations that participated in this project do not agree on the ‘right’ answers to all these questions,” said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “But we all do agree that these are important issues, and candidates for the Legislature should be thinking about them and letting voters know how they see them.”

The questionnaire was not connected to any endorsement. It was administered for purely informational purposes: to inform voters about candidates’ positions on the issues.

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