This document is just for the public to review the types of questions sent to candidates, and was not used to deliver the questions to candidates. Surveys were sent and returned electronically in August 2020. The survey included general demographic questions, like name, website URL, office being sought, fundraising totals, and how they thought their positions aligned with Mainstream’s stated positions.
The questions below were designed to cover the breadth of advocacy areas important to Mainstream, while not overwhelming candidates with an unwieldy survey. As a result, there is often only one question per issue, and that question is designed to try to elicit an answer that can express the nuances of a given position. Asking politicians about their positions is more art than science, and every year, some questions are more successful than others. For most questions, candidates were given the opportunity to offer additional comment on their answers. In addition, some questions were included or not depending on the office sought.
It should be made clear that while candidates were told their answers would not be made public, candidates may, of course, publish their own answers to our surveys. We will not do so.
Candidates were asked the following issues-related questions
In addition, some questions were included for some offices, others were included for other offices. For example, the question below about the Kansas Act Against Discrimination is not relevant for a Federal officeholder, and so was replaced with a similar question about Federal protections. These questions are meant to be indicative of the issues queried.
Specifically, these are the questions sent to candidates for KS Senate and House of Representatives:
- Do you support amending the Kansas Constitution to eliminate the protection for individual reproductive freedoms contained in the Kansas Constitution?
- Do you believe that scientific facts and the authority of public health officers should control decisions regarding public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Do you agree that our institutions have built-in implicit racial bias that must be addressed?
- Should private schools that receive public funding be accredited, required to provide the same mandated services, and adhere to the same non-discrimination standards, as public schools?
- Do you support accepting federal dollars for Medicaid expansion in Kansas?
- Do you support lowering the age to carry a concealed firearm to 18?
- Should proof of citizenship be required in order to register to vote?
- As an elected official, would you support amending the Kansas Act Against Discrimination to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations?
- Do you agree with scientific evidence that climate change is real and caused by human activity?
- Do you support reallocating a portion of funding from police departments to non-policing forms of public safety and community support?
- Can any entity that exists by virtue of state authority use religious beliefs as a basis for discrimination?
Included with the questions above was a message that followed this outline:
Thank you for taking MainPAC's 2020 candidate questionnaire. We understand the demands of running for public office and appreciate your time in completing these questions.
The deadline for completing the questionnaire is noon on Thursday, September 10, 2020. We respect each candidate’s right NOT to complete a questionnaire but please know that MainPAC cannot endorse a candidate who chooses not to return a survey.
A few important notes: Filling out a survey does not guarantee endorsement by MainPAC. Answers to these questions will remain confidential and will not be published for the public. However, the questions asked on this survey will be published for the public in the interest of transparency.
A request to complete this survey was emailed to all general election candidates with an email address listed on the Kansas Secretary of State (statewide offices) and Johnson County Election Office (BOCC only) websites. A request to fill out this survey was also posted on social media.
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