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Monday, December 12, 2005

St Cloud Times Questions for the SD 15 Candidates


Our view: Candidates will face questions of a unique sort
Times editorial board

The St. Cloud Times Editorial Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday with candidates for House District 15B and Senate District 15. These interviews, which the board will lean heavily on in deciding endorsements, are run similar to a forum or debate.

Usually the board asks only questions that all candidates can answer. What are your biggest priorities? How would you vote on this issue? Explain how you would address that challenge. Etc.

However, this Dec. 27 election is proving to be particularly special because each of the five candidates are facing some unique questions — questions that don't necessarily apply to their competitors, but that voters could find essential in casting their ballots.

Here is a brief look at questions board members will ask each candidate to answer individually.

House 15B

Sue Ek

Please explain clearly the discrepancy in official documents about your city of residence. Legal residency is of paramount importance in running for the Legislature. You signed an affidavit in St. Paul stating you were a resident there July 9. Yet you filed your candidacy papers in which you swore you had been a resident of St. Cloud since at least June 27, which meets the required six-month residency rule for District 15B.

Which is correct? How are voters not supposed to see these conflicting claims as dishonesty?

Larry Haws

A professional career working in the public sector coupled with your current role as a Stearns County commissioner leaves no doubt you are committed to public service. But public service doesn't come up for a lot of votes in the Legislature.

What specific issue is driving you to run for office?

Senate 15

Dan Becker

This is the fourth election you have entered since 2002. You just finished fourth in the St. Cloud City Council race. You filed and withdrew for council in 2003. And in 2002 you ran for the U.S. 6th District House seat held by Mark Kennedy.

In seeking city, federal and now state office, do you have a consistent message to deliver? Or has running four times in three different jurisdictions diluted that? Please explain.

Tarryl Clark

You already are heavily involved in the Legislature, most notably as a lobbyist. How will you overcome the perception that you may not be that much different than the incumbents and other Capitol insiders with whom voters already are frustrated?

Dan Ochsner

Prior to your candidacy, you were the host of a radio talk show that many people believe showed disrespect, even disdain, for efforts to promote multiculturalism and diversity. Given the struggles this community has had with those issues and the area's growing diversity, why should voters elect someone whose job involved minimizing those issues and the people they affect?

We look forward to their answers.

I'll be interested to hear the answers to these questions.

Comment thread here.

Dan Becker has said he'd support the Bachmann amendment:

6. What is your stand on the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman?
Dan Becker - I will vote in favor of this.

I do not support changing the definition of marriage between a man and a woman.

I think if the gay community had supported the civil union concept during the Clinton years, this would have been done.

Let me also say I do not like to amend the constitution often because it takes away from the integrity of it.

I wonder if he has read the amendment. It bans civil unions. There weren't any civil unions offered during the Clinton administration. Clinton brought us the Defense of Marriage Act.