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10 Questions for the 2012 Candidates

If you ask a candidate one of our 10 questions, let us know how they respond!
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There are a lot of distractions during election season. There are more and more gotcha ads, and increasingly less discussion about what really matters. At POGO, OpenTheGovernment.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors we spend a lot of time thinking about how our government can be more transparent, accountable, and effective. We'd love to be having conversations with every candidate to help educate them and to inform the work that we do in Washington---no matter the results of the election. Perhaps together we can!

POGO, OpenTheGovernment.org, UCS and ASNE have put together some questions we hope will spark important discussions about our government and democracy. These questions cover a lot of ground--on issues ranging from how to balance national security with rights like free speech, how to know who's influencing elections and government policies, how to protect whistleblowers, how to follow the money the government spends, and more. What interests you?

Over the coming days and weeks candidates will be out shaking hands, kissing babies, and making appearances at county fairs, town hall meetings, debates--maybe in your neighborhood. If you have an opportunity to ask a candidate a question, check out the 10 questions we'd most like to ask in 2012. Then tell us about the conversations you have with candidates about making our government more open and accountable!

10 Questions for the 2012 Candidates

1. How will you make it easy for me to know as much as possible about what you and other government officials are doing on my behalf?


2. How will you make it easy to tell who is influencing government policies?


3. How will you make it easy to tell who is influencing elections?


4. How will you protect federal workers who lawfully expose waste, fraud, abuse, and illegality?


5. How will you make sure reporters and publishers can pursue critical stories without risk of subpoenas, prosecutions, or intimidation?


6. Do you believe there is too much government secrecy, and if so, how will you fix it?


7. How will you protect my rights while also protecting national security?


8. How will you make sure that I have the same ability to receive government records under FOIA as people with access to lawyers?


9. What kind of commitments do you think you and others ought to make to ensure public service isn't used for private gain?


10. How will you help the public keep tabs on federal spending, including here in my hometown?