Soon after becoming a candidate I started to receive ‘Candidate surveys’ from various lobbying groups. How can I tell it is a survey?
I am reminded of this little quote
“Tread lightly when completing candidate surveys/questionnaires. You have almost nothing to gain and instead provide ammunition for opponents or groups to use against you in your campaign.”
– Brian Gosch
South Dakota House Majority Leader
Here is a conversation I had with myself when I received my first survey:
Are you going to fill it out?
Won’t take but a few minutes.
Yeah, but remember the part where it’s a trap?
Might be, we got a shot at seeing who’s turning these wheels. Let’s fill it out and see what shakes loose.
How do you know that they just don’t want to know where you stand on the issues? People just want to know who you are and what you’re about here. I’m referring to real people here.
Y’all read this survey, I take it?
Did they ask for money?
Will you oppose any increase in taxes or fees?
Talk about a trap! Just who do you think would answer ‘No’?
As a general rule, I dislike rising taxes or fees and will avoid it, if possible. However there are some situations that a tax increase is just plain unavoidable or needs to be done.
I have to go back to Governor Rounds who wouldn’t just sign pledges or commit to do or not do something so broadly. His reasoning is sound. Unless someone has crystal ball or magic mirror and can tell us what situations we are going face in the future, it is bad idea to commit to something like this then have the need to increase taxes or fees.
Some taxes I opposed like the $1.00 increase on cigarettes and 25% more on tobacco products. Not because I approve of smoking, because the money was destined for the general fund, not anti-smoking campaigns or Medicaid. I also couldn’t support the current tax increase for teacher pay in its current form. Not that teachers don’t deserve more pay, however I still maintain at least some of the money can be found in the state budget.
I can support the increase for maintaining the highway. Maintenance costs have gone up and revenue just hasn’t been keeping pace.
Most of the questions is looking for a yes or no answer. Do you support this idea or that movement. As in most politics it isn’t that quite that simple. It isn’t just black and white, more like a 107 shades of grey.
I get it. These surveys are used to help build voter guides and side by side comparisons between candidates especially, those without a voting record. Many of the issues are a wee bit complex. Sometimes the answer needs to be more than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
If you really want to know where a candidate stand on an issue or issues You can contact many of them by E-mail, by phone or even put pen to paper and write them a letter.