"The arms race for money that drives our campaigns threatens the concept of one person, one vote."
2012 Candidate Forum Questions
NCVCE has prepared sample questions on campaign finance reform that can be used for candidate forums, candidate questionnaires, or corresponding with your state legislator.
If you would like a question specifically tailored for your organization or issue, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Send us information about any upcoming candidate forums in your area. We will then work to get relevant questions submitted asked. Contact Melissa Price Kromm, NCVCE Coalition at 919-371-VOTE, email@example.com.
2. Attend candidate forums yourself and ask questions yourself! Please be sure and report back to us how the candidates respond!
3. Distribute our Take Action materials at election-related events in your community.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM/MONEY IN POLITICS
Questions for US House / US Senate Candidates:
1. Do yousupport an amendment to the US constitution to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court decision by clarifying that corporations and unions do not have the same rights as people and that purchased speech is not the same as free speech?
2. Would you support a “Stand By Your Ad” law, requiring CEOs to appear in the campaign ads they fund or to require that ads display the names of the largest donors?
3. Do you support the legislation, like the Disclose Act, requiring hidden corporate special interests to reveal their political spending?
Question for Appellate Court Judicial candidates (Supreme Ct, Ct of Appeals):
1. Please tell us why you chose to utilize the “Voter-Owned Elections” program?
2. In your view, how does the Citizens United ruling affect your use of the program?
Questions for NC Legislative Candidates and Council of State Candidates:
I. Voter Owned Elections
Currently, North Carolina law allows statewide judicial candidates and some Council of State candidates to qualify for public campaign funding or 'Voter-Owned Elections' - if they refuse special interest funds, adhere to spending limits, and prove their grassroots support by obtaining a large number of small contributions from voters. Dozens of candidates have used this program in NC since 2004.
1. Will you protect North Carolina’s Judicial “Voter Owned Elections” public campaign funding laws?
2. Will you protect North Carolina’s Council of State “Voter-Owned Elections” public campaign funding laws and support expansion to five more Council of State offices?
3. Will you also support local authorization legislation that would allow the state's largest cities to experiment with local public campaign financing if they choose to do so?
II. Rising Cost of Elections
The average cost of winning most competitive legislative races in North Carolina is now well over $100,000. The rising cost of campaigns in North Carolina serves as a barrier to qualified, good candidates who want to run for office.
1. Are you concerned with the rising cost of elections?
2. Would you support the creation of a 'Voter-Owned Elections' public financing option for state legislative races that would provide candidates with an alternative to the money chase?
III. Citizens United Constitutional Amendment
The Citizens United decision has allowed massive amounts of money to pollute our elections. A constitutional amendment offers the long-term solution to address the damaging effects on our society of treating corporations as if they’re entitled to the same rights to express themselves as real people.
1. Will you support public financing of elections?
2. Will you support shareholder protection legislation?
3. Do yousupport an amendment to the US constitution to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court decision by clarifying that corporations and unions do not have the same rights as people and that purchased speech is not the same as free speech?
One way to mitigate the damage of Citizens United is to increase disclosure. We believe that all corporate political donations should be made public. Corporations and unions should have to create separate campaign accounts and report every dime they spend in a timely manner.
1. Will you support increased disclosure of political spending?
2. Will you support legislation to mandate electronic disclosure requirements for races over a $10,000 campaign threshold?
Question for City / County Candidates:
With the costs of campaigns rising rapidly, it has become increasingly difficult for citizens who don’t have personal wealth or wealthy donors to compete. The need to raise large sums of campaign money creates barriers that limit access for many highly qualified candidates.
1. If elected, would you support passage of state law that would give North Carolina counties and cities the authority to create local 'voter-owned Elections' or public financing programs for local candidates as an alternative to the current privately financed campaign finance system?
Question for District / Superior Court Judicial candidates:
Since 2004, Appellate Court candidates have been able to opt into a public campaign financing program to help finance their campaigns.
1. Would you take advantage of a similar 'voter-owned elections' type program for District / Superior Court races in North Carolina if it were available to you?