Monday, June 18, 2018

Coming this week: Gubernatorial Candidate Survey responses

Coming later this week, I will be posting the responses or non-responses of the top six GOP gubernatorial candidates. Each of them have been sent a questionnaire, which I will post below.

Questions 1-8 and 10 were the same for all candidates, and cover important issues that I believe voters will be interested in reading their response to, including some topics that I have not seen previously addressed by many of the candidates.

Question 9 was be different for everyone, with the question being tailored for each candidate specifically. I tried to make the questionnaire interesting, wide-ranging, and tough for all, but I believe the questions are still fair to each.

I am personally uncommitted still, and have attempted to use this survey for people like me who are still trying to decide how to vote on June 26th.

Here is what each of the candidates have been asked to answer:

2018 GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire

1. How has your experience prepared you to serve as Governor?

2. What needs to be done to fix Oklahoma’s budget process?

3. Tax revenue has increased dramatically over the past few months to nearly-record setting levels. There may be a surplus of over one billion dollars available for budgeting next year. What would you propose be done with any budget surplus during the next legislative session?

4. Education has been a hot topic over the past few years. What is your plan to address the issues facing common and higher education in Oklahoma?

5. Under Civil Asset Forfeiture, law enforcement can seize and keep property suspected of involvement in criminal activity, even if the property owner is not found guilty of or even charged with a crime. This has resulted in high-profile cases of innocent citizens having property or funds essentially stolen from them with no justification. What is your position on Civil Asset Forfeiture?

6. How do you plan to hold state government accountable for spending, in light of the scandals we’ve seen over the past year?

7. The current Tribal-State Gaming Compact expires on January 1st, 2020. The next Governor will negotiate for the State of Oklahoma for the next 15-year tribal gaming agreement. What would you hope to achieve in your role?

8. Republicans are often characterized as being for “big business”, “crony capitalism” or “corporate welfare”, sometimes deservedly and shamefully so. Oklahoma has a history of handing out sweetheart deals to large corporations in order to entice them to move to Oklahoma. Meanwhile, small businesses, the backbone of our economy who operate without high-paid lobbyists, often get overlooked. How do you intend to promote and incentivize entrepreneurship and small business growth in Oklahoma?

CORNETTYou call yourself a conservative, yet as Mayor, you pushed for large tax increases and signed a letter to Congress that opposed repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”). How are those positions conservative, and how do you defend them to conservatives, who view ObamaCare as the most damaging measure to come out of Washington in decades and who believe in lower taxes?
FISHER: Your most prominent - and unique - platform during this campaign has been Abortion Abolitionism (or, “Immediatism”). You have publicly renounced the term “pro-life”, and your campaign has attacked being “pro-life” as insufficient. In the past few months, the Governors of Mississippi and Louisiana have signed into law bills that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and Iowa’s Governor signed a measure that would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected (as early as 6 weeks). If the Oklahoma legislature sent either of those two measures to your desk, would you sign it, or would you veto it?
JONES: During the last session and special sessions, you were perhaps the only gubernatorial candidate to openly suggest and advocate for raising taxes. You even spoke at a press conference with the House Democratic caucus to push for a budget plan that raised nearly $500M in taxes. This is despite being a former chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, whose platform generally opposes tax increases. What do you say to those who may be concerned that you will abandon the GOP platform once in office, like Mary Fallin has?
LAMBOne common concern I hear from people is a perception that you are timid and unwilling to take difficult stances on issues, or that you wait until it is “safe” before voicing your opinions on controversial measures. Specific examples are the pro-life and open-carry bills that Gov. Fallin vetoed, and the tax-hike fight of 2018 where legislative conservatives were virtually unassisted in their efforts to stand up for taxpayers. What do you say to those who have doubts about your political courage?
RICHARDSON: One of your main campaign platforms both now and during your Independent gubernatorial campaign of 2002 is to audit and dismantle the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. If you are successful in accomplishing that, how do you plan to pay for the dismantling and the additional maintenance ODOT will incur by absorbing the current turnpike system without negatively impacting ODOT’s other obligations?
STITT: In your position as a corporate CEO you made decisions and policy that affected your entire company, however, the governor does not have that same unilateral power. As an outsider, how will you be effective as governor not having navigated those waters previously, and given your previous lack of involvement in even voting regularly as a private citizen?

10. As the primary approaches, what one thing do you want voters to remember about you as they go into the voting booth?


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