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Daily Kos's 2012 fundraising totals
Whenever Daily Kos considers a candidate endorsement for our fundraising efforts, we ask the campaign to fill out our short questionnaire. It's not intended to be a comprehensive dossier—if we insisted on asking 50 questions, we wouldn't get many responses. Rather, our aim is to focus on a handful of issues of key importance to the Daily Kos community, to help give us a feel for the people we're thinking about endorsing.

Consequently, there are plenty of important issues that don't appear on our questionnaire. That doesn't mean they aren't important to us. To be absolutely clear: We evaluate all candidates holistically and make choices based on all the public information available to us, not just our questionnaire. For instance, if a given candidate answered our questions with flying colors but has a bad record on, say, environmental issues or reproductive freedom, that is something we would most definitely take into consideration. Fortunately, groups devoted to matters like these regularly interrogate candidates, so there's no shortage of information on this front, and that also allows us to avoid duplicating our allies' efforts.

Indeed, for the most part, our questionnaire focuses on questions other groups aren't asking—or at least, aren't asking publicly. It can be difficult, for instance, to find out a first-time candidate's views on the Employee Free Choice Act, but it's a vital piece of legislation. Similarly, we aren't aware of any other organizations that ask about the Blue Dog Coalition or the filibuster, so we feel it's particularly crucial that we highlight the importance of these issues. And we try to make our questions as specific as possible, often by tying them to specific pieces of legislation, in order to minimize the possibility of vague or unsatisfying answers.

We also change our questions slightly from cycle to cycle, as events warrant. For instance, last cycle, we included a question about allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. Thanks to the fiscal cliff deal, that question was mostly resolved in progressives' favor, so we consider that a success and have removed the question. We aren't making many other changes: We've decided to focus on Medicare buy-in in our health care question (rather than the public option), and we're also now asking about same-sex marriage, to send a statement about our values. If we make further alterations, we will of course let the community (and prospective candidates) know.

More broadly, we feel it's not likely that someone who answers our questionnaire well would give us cause for serious concern on other issues. For example, a candidate who supports Employee Free Choice and opposes cuts to Social Security is unlikely to be a stealth conservative. Similarly, it's hard to imagine someone supporting same-sex marriage but opposing, say, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

But we take nothing for granted, and, just in case, we always do thorough research on everyone we endorse, beyond what's in the questionnaire. That's because if we're asking you to donate and support someone, we want to be as sure as we possibly can that they are worthy of your time and money.

One question we're often asked is whether this is a litmus test—are there any required answers? We always say no, but at the same time, it's quite clear which answers we prefer. And on some topics, we have more leeway in accepting imperfect answers. On other issues, though, it's hard if not impossible to envision supporting someone who isn't with us. (If there are any Democrats out there who still don't support marriage equality, you probably shouldn't waste your time talking to us.)

By the same token, answering every question "right" is no guarantee of support. Again, we take a very comprehensive look at every candidate we consider and we evaluate many things beyond just ideology. We look at candidate quality (have they ever run for office before? are they good at connecting with voters? are they successful at raising money?) and many other background factors, like how red or blue the district or state they're running in is, how strong their opponents are, and much, much more.

We're also often asked whether our questionnaire should be filled out with yes/no answers, with commentary, or with both. We strongly prefer clear yes or no responses, but those are not required. The "comments" section for each question can be used in addition to or instead of yes/no answers.

Campaigns also frequently ask us what getting our endorsements means. Principally, it means we raise money for those candidates, both via the Daily Kos site and through our email outreach program. As you can see from our 2012 statistics, we raised quite a lot: over $3.4 million for 65 different candidates and causes. (We also endorse efforts like pro-marriage equality campaigns.) In addition, our endorsement helps raise a candidate's profile and offers a way for candidates to get their message out while bypassing traditional channels.

One final note: When we do endorse candidates, we publish all of their answers to all of these questions (or we ask the campaigns to do so themselves, in diary form). It's part of our commitment to transparency: When we ask community members here at Daily Kos to part with their hard-earned dollars, we want folks to know what they're getting in return—it's only fair. In any event, we're very excited to once again start adding candidates to our list, which we expect to do soon. If there are any Democrats out there you particularly like and think would make worthy additions, please let us know in comments!

Without further ado, our questionnaire is below:

1. Do you support the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:

a)    Contain a meaningful path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States that does not include overly punitive fines or a touchback requirement;

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

b)    Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

c)    Maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued for any non-agricultural temporary worker programs, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

3a. Do you support the Strengthening Social Security Act (H.R. 3118 / S. 567, 113th Congress), which would increase Social Security benefits and strengthen the program's finances?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

3b. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:

a)    Raising the retirement age;

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

b)    Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment, including implementing so-called "chained CPI";

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

c)    Directly reducing benefits;

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

d)    Means-testing recipients; and

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

e)    Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409 / S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

5. Do you believe that all adults should be allowed to legally marry another adult of their choosing, regardless of that person's sex?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

6. If elected, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition or Third Way?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

7. If elected to the Senate, do you pledge to restore majority rule to the Senate and both work and vote to end the filibuster?

YES    NO    COMMENTS:

Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 12:22 PM PT: Question 6 updated to include Third Way.

Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 1:31 PM PT: Question 3 updated to include Strengthening Social Security Act.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A condition should be that Comments are allowed... (7+ / 0-)

    ... only if the responder answers either Yes or No, but not both.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:35:38 PM PST

    •  For example, consider the Immigration question: (3+ / 0-)
      2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:

      ....

      b)    Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages...

      (boldface mine)

      What if the candidate wants to reduce all immigration because the believe that immigrants depress wages?  There is no option for this, and the question attempts an either/or framing.

  •  Looks like a good start, but (10+ / 0-)

    shouldn't there be some national security/foreign policy questions, too?  Given our current international entanglements, we need Congress critters who will question to rationale for foreign interventions, e.g. our creeping commitment in Mali.

    Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

    by DrJohnB on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:39:33 PM PST

  •  On Social Security (21+ / 0-)

    I'd like to see candidates asked directly:

    "Do you support eliminating the limit on wages subject to the payroll tax?"

    as to my mind it is the only progressive solution to the (limited) fiscal issues facing Social Security.

    It's not just what they oppose, it's what they support.

    •  X 1,000 !! n/t (2+ / 0-)

      To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

      by Eyesbright on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:43:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I might want an option to support increasing (4+ / 0-)

      the limit, like to 200,000.  I don't know how Social Security is calculated, but isn't it based upon your highest earnings over a three or five year period?  Wouldn't that allow an athlete or actor to have a few really good years, but then do nothing for a few decades until they retire and still collect really high social security income?

      Anyway, that discussion probably can't fit into a questionaire, unless it's "Do you support raising, removing or preserving the limit of income subject to social security taxes?"

      •  the money is at the top (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Losty, Odysseus, grrr, Eyesbright

        Raising the limit to $200k or something (incidentally, if the cap rose with inflation since 1983 it would be $214,500 today) gets you some benefit, but the real benefit is on the money at the top. This is why some have proposed creating a donut hole, so income above $250k (or some other number) is subject to the tax, but income between that number and the current cap is not (this would also allow Obama to keep his "I'm not raising taxes on earnings under $250k pledge).

        And yes, benefits would increase too, but the existing progressive benefit structure means that approximately 25% - 30% of the income raised by lifting the cap goes to benefits for those individuals, which means the rest goes into shoring up the program.

        Also, Social Security looks at your top 35 years of wages, so the high earners you mention (who are also such a small number as not to matter) wouldn't get to make a ton of money in a short time frame and then collect a massive check at the end. Every year they weren't working counts as $0 for the total calculus. Some would also struggle to meet the credit requirement if they didn't work again after their brief careers.

      •  I Don't Want the Rich in There (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        I think raising the cap to $200K or $250K is warranted, but I don't want it eliminated. If you take this money from them then you're morally obligated to pay them a bunch of money when they retire.

        We don't need it anyway. What we need is to get wages back up where they belong. If wages had continued to increase with worker productivity, they would be twice what they are today. That means that money flowing into Social Security would also be twice what it is.

        When someone says Social Security needs more money they are just saying that workers need higher wages and more jobs. Fix the jobs/wages problem and you fix not only Social Security, but all the government shortfalls generally, and a bunch of other problems to boot.

        Our unemployment rate is almost a percent higher now than before globalization hit. That's millions of people out of work right now because of bad trade policy. Those people would be paying payroll taxes.

        So, rather than raising the cap, let's focus on jobs and wages.

    •  something along these lines (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OffTheHill, Beastly Fool

      is a good add to the questionnaire.

      And it shouldn't be a problem for most progressive candidates since this is on most labor union questionnaires.*

      * speaking as someone who has written answers to candidate questionnaires for federal candidates.

      Nancy Pelosi: "We have a Democratic president -- Thank God!"

      by Newsie8200 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:05:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Campaign/Candidate quality (13+ / 0-)

    I would like to see at least one, if not several questions about the campaign itself - do they have a written plan, a budget, professional experience...

    The number of campaigns I audit that lack a written and at least somewhat accurate budget is astounding, and the result is a lot of wasted donor money.

    The number of candidates I encounter who have terrific progressive values on issue questions but lack them entirely in the execution/plan of their campaign is also astounding.

    Until we as the donors/activists and they as the candidates recognize that having the right issue positions is not the end all be all of running for office, we will continue to ineffectively distribute our limited power.  Being a candidate is not the same job as holding the office you are seeking, it requires different talents and staff support.

    Alternatively, DailyKos could audit campaigns before issue an endorsement.

    Are you a Proud Progressive running or thinking about running for office? Visit www.mpapolitical.com.

    by mp on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:43:07 PM PST

    •  I should have also added... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Nir, Vatexia, ManhattanMan, grrr

      I should have started applauding the entire Daily Kos team for the tremendous job they did with endorsements and fund raising in support of quality candidates last cycle.  They had relatively few misses in terms of quality and brought forward some wonderful progressive voices, some of whom now roam the halls of Congress/Senate.

      Well done, and let's do even better in 2014!

      Are you a Proud Progressive running or thinking about running for office? Visit www.mpapolitical.com.

      by mp on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:03:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent suggestion. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mp

      Nancy Pelosi: "We have a Democratic president -- Thank God!"

      by Newsie8200 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:01:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The questionnaire itself shapes discussion - (0+ / 0-)

      for instance, by framing the issue of universal voting standards and placing it in such a questionnaire, with the understanding that this will reach all potential democratic candidates for federal office in 2014, then the issue of voting rights is placed, with specifics, in a format where it can be referenced by a fair number of legislative and political leaders.  

      Each of the issues mentioned in the present questionnaire can be viewed as a seed of our desired outcome, and is in some sense a kind of lobbying.

      We might as well admit this is one dimension of our project here. Shaping the issues. Nothing wrong with it. It's being done from the Kos side as transparently as publishing these diaries, and the specifics on the issues are still left freely to the legislators and their staffs. But in extending the survey, we are placing a well defined bug in their ear, or better, an appealingly written proposal that they can then sell more effectively to their constituents amidst the rabble and din they face every day.

      It's all about influence after all - why not make it count at every turn?  

      "We must not confuse absolutism for principle." - Barack Obama

      by Beastly Fool on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:53:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  amazing..President Obama has climate change (36+ / 0-)

    listed on his top 5 agenda, but DK does not see as important issue for candidates? First Nation communities in Canada are getting sick and dying for years now from tar sands....and now 53 senators support XL pipeline. no problem. NIMBY. fossil fuels are sickening and killing thousands in US each year. but not an important issue for DK.

    We are accustomed to all-but-three fp'ers ignoring our climate change and environmental blogathons .... even when we have top Democrat to ever post at DK, Former Vice-President Al Gore, or top environmental leaders, like Van Jones.

    BUT to leave out climate change in your  -- that is, OUR -- candidates' questionnaire? Does everyone here got some secret plan to address the #1 issue facing people, wildlife and natural resources...ahem our planet...that we don't know about?

    So you downgrade environmental issues to something to "take into consideration?"

    For instance, if a given candidate answered our questions with flying colors but has a bad record on, say, environmental issues or reproductive freedom, that is something we would most definitely take into consideration.

    "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:44:37 PM PST

  •  Support vs. Oppose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albanius

    I think the questionnaire should be worded only with "Do you support..." type questions.  "Do you oppose...." leads to a yes means no situation and is potentially confusing.

  •  Is there a law that says you must be doucmented? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, Liberal Thinking

    "law-abiding undocumented immigrants"

    if so, I think you've got an oxymoron phrase going on there.

    •  "Doucmented"? (0+ / 0-)

      Is that some kind of shower that comes with concrete?

      :-)

      I don't think there's a law that says you have to be documented, but if you try to work in the U.S. without being a citizen or other "documentation" that you have a right to work here, then that's illegal.

  •  Have to say ... (25+ / 0-)

    that I cannot donate via this path -- again -- since climate change, other environmental issues, and energy do not appear here in anyway, shape, or form.

    No, it is not acceptable that these remain 'oh by the way' topics.  These are core and by not even bothering to ask about them, you are telling prospective candidates that these issues are secondary/don't matter.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:48:44 PM PST

  •  What good is a survey? (0+ / 0-)

    Jon Tester, ya remember him?

  •  I wish the Social Security question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Australian2, NoMoreLies

    included asking about raising or eliminating the cap on taxed income.

    As for candidates, I assume you will approach any and all Dems running for the special Senate seat in Massachusetts and hopefully endorse whoever wins the primary (assuming they answer well enough).... Would you endorse in that primary race?

  •  No love for teh marijuana? :( nt (3+ / 0-)

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:51:59 PM PST

    •  No Joke (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, 420 forever, Odysseus

      I'm not donating time or money to anyone who refuses to take a stance on the drug war for the foreseeable future.

      Dems, and indeed the progressive lefts inaction on this subject is becoming intolerable for me. Basically everyone I talk to says they don't want to rock the boat.

      Well guess what the boat is  imprisoning huge numbers of Americans, eroding our civil rights, and promoting instability in Latin America, the boat is sinking and we need to do something about it.

      Inaction is no longer acceptable to me and many others, hopefully dkos and other progressive sites will see the writing on the wall and actually start voicing the opinion that more than 50% of Americans already share.

      •  FDL is pretty active on marijuana reform (0+ / 0-)

        There's also a few kossacks who are strong marijuana activists. However, in terms of FP posts I'm afraid the GOS is sorely lacking.

        “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

        by 420 forever on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:15:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  two different questions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      420 forever

      Do you support the legalization of marijuana at the federal level?

      Do you oppose the use of federal law enforcement resources in states with legal or medical marijuana?

      At the least I would like the second one answered (as that's where the debate heads next).

  •  How many Americans have to die? (20+ / 0-)

    How many Americans have to die before Daily Kos adds a question about climate change and the fossil fuel industry?

    How fast do the seas have to rise?

    How many cities have to be devastated by "freak" or "unprecedented" or "extreme" storms?

    How many wildfires have to burn through our forests and homes?

    How many people have to be pushed into poverty and despair from spiraling food prices, war, social instability as the climate careens out of control?

  •  I know I'm from the wrong side of the Pacific, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, NoMoreLies

    but here's my list of answers:

    1. Do you support the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes. Then again, I believe that a single-payer healthcare system should be the law of the land, with a "premium" private option available for those willing to pay for the frills & ruffles.
    2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:
    a)    Contain a meaningful path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States that does not include overly punitive fines or a touchback requirement;

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes. Emphasis on "overly" - some (mostly symbolic) penalty is in order, perhaps a fine of a couple hundred dollars.
    b)    Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    N/A - it's not like the US is facing across-the-board shortages in its workforce. However, in principle employment needs should be met via permanent immigration, rather than exploitable temporary workers, so "yes" in the abstract.
    c)    Maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued for any non-agricultural temporary worker programs, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes. Further, I would back phasing in reductions in the number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas, and increases in the number of green cards made available via employment pathways.
    3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:
    a)    Raising the retirement age;

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes. It doesn't help the programs meet their stated needs (to provide for the retirement of those who would be unable to save enough for their own retirements), extend the programs' solvency, or meaningfully cut costs.
    b)    Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment, including implementing so-called "chained CPI";

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Leaning toward "Yes" (do oppose), although I'd want to get an in-depth look at how the CPI (and alternative measures) are calculated to make my mind up. There may, for instance, be an alternative measure out there that fairly accounts for the different "basket" of goods and services purchased by seniors, but "Chained CPI" isn't it.
    c)    Directly reducing benefits;

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes. Reducing benefits is neither and ethical, nor a moral, nor an effective way of dealing with the problems that Social Security and Medicare face in the years ahead.
    d)    Means-testing recipients; and

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes. Although the concept of means-testing is superficially attractive, it violates the promise that was made when Social Security (in particular) was signed into law: everyone pays in the same percentage of their wages/salaries, and everyone buys with it the same guarantee. The moment that this is taken away, the Right has political cover to attack Social Security as "just another redistributing program", and they hardly need more encouragement.
    e)    Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes! The point of Social Security was to insulate peoples' retirement from the vagaries of Wall Street, not to make retirement even more dependent upon the whims of a rigged stock market/casino.
    4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Yes. But then again, I am a union member myself, and enthusiastically joined after seeing the benefits the union fought to get for non-members.
    5. Do you believe that all adults should be allowed to legally marry another adult of their choosing, regardless of that person's sex?

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Another "single" adult of their choosing, yes. Polygamy isn't on the cards for my OK.
    6. If elected to the House, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition?

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    Pfft. I doubt I'd have anything to say to them, much less join them! Would they even ask, or would Teh Ghey keep them out of arms' length?
    7. If elected to the Senate, do you pledge to restore majority rule to the Senate and both work and vote to end the filibuster?

    YES    NO    COMMENTS:

    No. Reform, yes - and real reform, not Senator Reid's compromise - but not an out-and-out extinction of the filibuster. I support Sen. Ron Wyden's proposal to end secret holds of nominees, and Sen. Jeff Merkley's efforts to both reverse the onus (from those seeking to break a filibuster to those seeking to sustain it) and force a real, "talking" filibuster, but I do not support an out-and-out end to it. Merely rules to make abuse of it much harder.

    *

    Just a mental exercise, I know. But an entertaining one - the fact that the ostensibly "left-wing" party has candidates (and officeholders!) of whom some of these questions must be seriously asked shows how much further Right the US political spectrum is.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:55:40 PM PST

  •  Whither climate change? (25+ / 0-)

    David,
    I think it would be a huge mistake to not include a question relating to how candidates are thinking about catastrophic climate change and what they would do to confront it.

  •  I'd like to see a question on campaign finance (5+ / 0-)

    reform, free trade agreements, PIPA/SOPA, NDAA, drone strikes, and possibly even the drug war. It seems like these are the kinds of questions that would ferret out someone more genuinely progressive from the pack, since progressives tend to be more attuned to these issues than the standard Dem. But the questions you have there are all good, too, and attuned to the current issues before Congress.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:57:25 PM PST

  •  Wait a minute... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mp
    If elected to the Senate, do you pledge to restore majority rule to the Senate and both work and vote to end the filibuster?
    Hey, I though we trying to reform the filibuster to prevent and/or limit its abuse. Since when were we all about ending it entirely? I understand that Kos himself doesn't like the filibuster and thinks we should just go straight to "majority rules" but there are many people, myself included, who think that the filibuster still has some important if limited utility. I think we might have some political mission creep going on here.
  •  nothing at all on climate? (23+ / 0-)

    look, Dems should all agree that they accept basic climate change science or they shouldn't be in the Democratic party - that particular strain of insanity is unique to Republicans. But you need to include something on how the nation plans to address climate change.

    If you want to enforce party unity, you could ask something along the lines of: "will you oppose any effort to roll back EPA's regulatory power?"

    If you're genuinely interested in the answers, you could ask something about carbon tax, cap and trade, or cap and dividend. Or fracking. Or a million other issues.

    Last year I helped raise $140K for climate hero Democratic candidates outside of DailyKos, but didn't donate a penny to "orange to blue."

    Progressive Democratic infrastructure, you are failing humanity's greatest challenge.

    It's time to unfrack California before it gets fracked. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:04:02 PM PST

    •  This survey is for union members over 50. (4+ / 0-)

      It's mostly retirement, immigration, Social Security. I love union members over 50 but some of us have to pay our student loans and still be here when climate change disasters get worse.

      •  The qs in the proposed questionnaire (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DavidMS

        are highly relevant to progressives of ALL ages.

        And BTW, attacks on Ryan's plan to turn Medicare into a voucher plan tested great among voters of ALL ages, not just seniors. Tested so well, those messages even found their way into ads targeting younger voters last cycle. Young people care about grandma and grandpa...

        Nancy Pelosi: "We have a Democratic president -- Thank God!"

        by Newsie8200 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:10:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its focus is one sided. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RLMiller

          Yes, young people care about grandma and grandpa. But, do grandma and grandpa care about their grandkids? I'm sure they do, but you can't tell it by these questions because it's focused on issues of the most immediate concern to those retired or near retirement, plus multiple issues unions are focusing on right now.
          There's nothing on climate change, student loan forgiveness, the cost of college, the high unemployment rate of young people. Shouldn't all generations get to ask their questions and be concerned about each other?

    •  just fyi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS

      The phrase "cap & trade" so toxic, LCV didn't even use it anywhere in its 2012 candidate questionnaire.

      They left the climate change/global warming question rather vague, by asking if the candidate supported "federal legislation" or a broad deal to reduce pollution by at least 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

      Anything more concrete and there'd probably be a lot of candidates who wouldn't be able to take a pro-environment position and then LCV would be stuck backing only those from the bluest of blue areas...

      Nancy Pelosi: "We have a Democratic president -- Thank God!"

      by Newsie8200 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:25:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I went directly to LCV Action Fund.... (6+ / 0-)

      for my 2012 contributions because 'orange to blue' lacked environmental focus.

      How about "Do you support putting a price on carbon pollution through a carbon tax or a cap on emissions?"

      "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

      by oregonj on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:29:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  very glad there's no questions on climate change (30+ / 0-)

    because, hey, who will care about that in a few years?

    but just in case you wanted to ask one: would you oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline? For activists who've been going to jail and marching, that's become the litmus test

  •  OT, do you think I am well-enough informed? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm afraid my opinions are still sort of half-baked and I am not sure about what the realities are.

    I'd hate to lose to a Republican just because the Dem didn't meet the litmus test because I don't want the Republicans to maintain control.

  •  Candidates? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS

    I told Elizabeth Warren at NN 12 that she should get a vocal coach and learn to use her voice properly. Looks like she did. Sen Warren, you owe me half a million dollars.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:18:02 PM PST

  •  medical marijuana should be on there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sourbrew, Losty

    It is a progressive issue, it's supported by 81% of the population (2010 WaPo poll), yet we still are not electing progressives who will stand up for it to federal office, especially in the Senate. it is not actually a controversial issue, literally no legislator state or federal has been punished for their support of it at the ballot box, because it is so popular in even conservative districts.

    but, many federal legislators buy into the idea that it's controversial, and will not even stand up to President Obama on the pointless raids his DoJ has done against state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries, which prevent sick people from accessing their medicine and forcing them onto the black market.

    It would be key for this questionnaire to identify progressives who would be advocates for medical marijuana patients, and who would work to pass legislation to protect them from federal interference, and as the biggest progressive blog game in town, it is very important that DailyKos asks this question, whether or not it decides to endorse based on the answer. I would ask you to reconsider, and to add this question to the questionnaire.

    It is not upon you to finish the Work, but neither shall you, O child of freedom, refrain from it.

    by DoGooderLawyer on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:23:04 PM PST

    •  Agreed, I looked at the thread from last year and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      you said the same thing then. The only thing these guys understand is money, and with that in mind I'm not donating time or money to anyone who refuses to take a stance on the drug war for the foreseeable future.

      Dems, and indeed the progressive lefts inaction on this subject is becoming intolerable for me. Basically everyone I talk to says they don't want to rock the boat.

      Well guess what the boat is  imprisoning huge numbers of Americans, eroding our civil rights, and promoting instability in Latin America, the boat is sinking and we need to do something about it.

      Inaction is no longer acceptable to me and many others, hopefully dkos and other progressive sites will see the writing on the wall and actually start voicing the opinion that more than 50% of Americans already share.

      •  aw thanks so much, sourbrew (0+ / 0-)

        it means a lot that you remember my comment from last year too. i agree with everything you said, and it's not clear why proud progressive dems are so chicken on this one (even elizabeth warren), given its massive polling numbers. really sad how their political calculus sucks. which is why dailykos should be doing more on this one, as we're pretty great on the other major progressive issues

        It is not upon you to finish the Work, but neither shall you, O child of freedom, refrain from it.

        by DoGooderLawyer on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:25:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  and what about WOMEN'S RIGHTS? (8+ / 0-)

    what good are fp posts about women's rights and issues when we are ignored in what candidates you choose to endorse and fundraise for?

    "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:26:17 PM PST

  •  "End the filibster"? C'mon. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trykindness

    This question should be very specific. As we learned recently, filibuster reform is not always real reform.

    Pin them down!

  •  Frankly the EFCA question is a waste (0+ / 0-)

    I wish it were law, but we're tilting at windmills here. There are much more important things for us to concern ourselves, and if we're trying to keep the questionnaire concise, EFCA stands out as irrelevant.

    •  Not So (0+ / 0-)

      It tells me whether they're on my side or the other side. I think that's a valid question.

      But, really, I'd prefer the replaced it with a question whether these people would sponsor international minimum wage legislation. EFCA is small bore. You really need a game-changer here.

      Look, workers in the U.S. are earning 1/2 what they should be. Wages have gone down while worker productivity has gone up. That's not a trend that would have happened without pressure from globalization depressing wages. We have to find a way to change that. Not only are people being paid far less now, but our rights have been sacked because we don't have the option any more to stand up for them. No one can afford to lose their job because they lose their health coverage and healthcare for their family.

      In a "free trade" world we have to come up with another system that will protect wages. They could decline another 50% before markets will come to grips with the problem. Do you want to work in a third-world country? Neither do I, but that's where we're headed.

      So, let's ask the candidates if they favor an international minimum wage. It may be a bigger windmill than EFCA, but I want something that will fail forward.

      •  int'l minimum wage would be an anchor (0+ / 0-)

        Around all our candidates' necks. Long term is it good policy? Probably. Is it also political suicide. In any district less than +4 D I would think so.

        My problem with both is that they are not plausible to get acted upon anytime soon. There are plenty of signals a candidate can use to demonstrate she's on your "side." We don't ask whether the candidates favor the ERA because it's irrelevant to the political climate.

        So too, the EFCA.

        On a limited questionnaire, we need to find out about (and demonstrate their importance to us) issues that are actually relevant in the current debate, not pie in the sky policy proposals that can only serve to be uncharacteristic by our opponents and will never be policy.

  •  I'm hoping that this is Candidate Questionnaire #1 (4+ / 0-)

    too many issues of vital importance [ First Nation's issues & women's issues, just to name one or two ].

    Meta Issues:

    1. What will you do to prevent State Governments from hijacking the Presidential Primaries and General Election?

    2. What action have you taken as a result of the demands of the more to most liberal constituents in your district?

    3. Will you accept donations from the NRA?

    4. When the Republican members of the House [ or Senate ] attempt to block legislation like that governing the National Debt, how are you prepared to respond?

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

    by llbear on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:46:05 PM PST

  •  There needs to be more labor and climate stuff. (9+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:52:50 PM PST

  •  There's nothing more important to ALL of us (19+ / 0-)

    than the future of our planet. All the other issues, as important as they are, won't matter much (or at all) if our planet is an uninhabitable hellhole.  And no, the future of life on this planet is not an "issue" like other issues, it's an overarching, existential matter that is absolutely fundamental. It should be the #1 question to every Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Vegetarian, etc....

    •  Re: "It should be the #1 question," what (5+ / 0-)

      should the #1 question be? "Do you believe that human activities are accelerating the rate of global climate change?" Let's hope that any Dem would answer yes!

      I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

      by 1BQ on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:34:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly. (6+ / 0-)

        Accepting it's caused by human activity just suggests you might not be a moron.

        The question is if the candidate favors immediate actions to get off fossil fuels such as:

        strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions, support for renewable energy in forms like feed-in tariffs, carbon taxes, etc., energy efficiency standards, federal action to to get offshore wind going. no Keystone XL pipeline, action against gas LNG exports and coal terminals, etc. etc. etc., and end to tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, etc. etc. etc.

         You get the idea.

        “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

        by SolarMom on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:28:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better question: Should anything, including (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Wells, SolarMom

          economic concerns, influence legislation that is designed to reduce our output of greenhouse gases?

          That's the excuse they all fall back on, that getting serious about combating climate change would cost the corporations so much money that they'd cut back on jobs instead of creating more new ones.

          I truly believe that serious efforts to wean ourselves of fossil fuels would generate as many jobs as would be eliminated in the fossil fuel industries, and that the net effect would be job displacement, not job reduction. But we're only now beginning to assess the employment impact of green energy. Without being able to point to facts and figures that show that we can drive unemployment down by getting rid of fossil fuels, running for office on a "climate change trumps all other concerns" platform is enormously risky, inviting opposition claims that going green will cost us jobs.

          I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

          by 1BQ on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:04:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  climate change, hello? (14+ / 0-)

    In 30 years, few people will give a shit about the answers to most of these questions, or what happened with any of them.

    They WILL care about whether we saved the ability of human beings to live on planet earth. That will matter.

    The filibuster matters because action on climate can't happen without it.

  •  my love/hate relationship w/ questionnaires (0+ / 0-)

    1. Kudos for (the start of?) a better questionnaire than I've seen from progressive groups who should probably just shut up about how progressive they are if they're going with a questionnaire that is so open-ended as to generate responses from almost any candidate so that said group can claim some credit for the win that the group probably had little to do with (cough cough, Democracy for America, cough cough).

    2. As a voter/donor, I recognize the value of questionnaires.

    3. As someone who has had to fill out tons of questionnaires and be a part of the questionnaire approval process for federal candidates in competitive races, THERE ARE TOO MANY FUCKING QUESTIONNAIRES. National organizations, regional groups and state groups all send things to you, plus editorial boards and the smallest of local papers. You don't want anything too specific or with too many landmines, or someone like me on a tough race in a tough state will say, "we're not going to get enough money for our trouble, so no, we're not filling this out."

    Nancy Pelosi: "We have a Democratic president -- Thank God!"

    by Newsie8200 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:37:43 PM PST

  •  How does your asking for "pledges" (0+ / 0-)

    make you different from norquist and the gop/tp pledges?  I don't agree with "pledges" as I think the oath of office is paramount and anyone who puts a "pledge" before that oath should be impeached.

    Can't you ask if they "conscientiously agree" with a particular stance or agree to vote on a particular position so as not to infringe on the oath of office?

     seems to me, we just went through a decade of pledges that never should have been made to begin with.

  •  blue dog is old news. New Dems is new news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River

    I'd add "New Democrats" to the Blue Dogs. We shouldn't be endorsing anyone who joins the "New Democrat" coalition.

  •  I would have to answer "no" on Q. 7 (0+ / 0-)

    However, if you asked a different question, you would get a different answer:

    Abolish the Senate!

    I am happy to see marriage equality in this survey. It was a glaring omission last time. I've pretty much set it up as a litmus test this time too. If you're in a position to win a seat as a Democrat, you're in a position to support my civil rights.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:40:59 PM PST

  •  I have a few more! (0+ / 0-)

    Do you support or oppose charter schools?

    Do you support or oppose high stakes testing?

    Do you support or oppose right to mooch laws?  

    Is FISA constitutional under the 4th amendment?  Please explain.

    Should Torturers involved from CIA black sites be tried in federal court?  

    Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

    by DavidMS on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:48:06 PM PST

  •  Climate, climate, climate... (9+ / 0-)

    ...climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate...

    Fail on climate and it won't matter a tinker's dam that the moral arc of the universe swings toward justice.  The greenhouse effect doesn't have a moral arc and it doesn't give a shit about us.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:41:13 PM PST

    •  Hey, Warren, did you forget to mention climate? (6+ / 0-)

      Jut in case:

      climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate...

      •  What a travesty, questionnaire writers. Ashamed. (5+ / 0-)

        climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate,climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate.

        If we fail on climate, nothing else will matter.

        “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

        by SolarMom on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:22:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm just trying to even things out... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SolarMom, RLMiller, James Wells, citisven

        ...for all the times that questionnaire didn't mention it.

        Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

        by WarrenS on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:22:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Number 1 question: Commitment to climate (9+ / 0-)

    Climate is not just the biggest emergency facing us, it's also a political winner to act on it.

    There are many progressive issues where I will assess that the generic Democratic is a better choice than a generic Republican, but for my child's future I don't bother to vote for anyone who is not clearly a climate hawk, and wouldn't even consider donating except to climate leaders.

  •  Immigration Is Poorly Worded (0+ / 0-)

    The question on immigration is poorly worded. Who knows what the the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act say about anything? Is that supposed to tell us whether they are for or against pork?

    There are clear issues here. I want to know if the candidate is prejudiced. Do they think rights only apply to U.S. citizens? Do they understand the relationship between immigration and wages? Are they willing to simplify the system? Are they willing to invest in the countries that push people into the U.S. because the place is an economic basket case or the government there is vile and abusive?

    And I don't understand question 2a at all. Being here instead of there should not give you a leg up to citizenship. What I want to see is something that immediately removes the stigma and threat of deportation. But what I don't want to see is a bunch of people suddenly made citizens because they cheated all the others who wanted to be U.S. citizens.

    We should just make jobs available to anyone for a fee. If they happen to be born somewhere else, then they should be allowed to work here if they pay a fee. This would help keep wages up because it would put pressure on employers to pay more for jobs that are hard to fill. Pay the fee and you don't have to worry about being deported.

    Then we should put substantial funds into improving conditions in the places that source foreign workers. I want to be able to go to Mexico, for example, and drink the water and drive down the road without blowing the suspension on my car. I don't want to have to worry about being shot. That means ending drug prohibition and it means investment. People in Guatemala, for example, should not have to go a thousand miles, at great risk, just to survive.

    I think this whole section could be entirely re-written to make it more practical, more transparent, and more liberal. By liberal I mean with respect for the people involved, regardless of the specifics.

  •  Kos to Enviros (7+ / 0-)

    TTFN or GBCW?

    Yes, let's have another election cycle without any discussion of climate change and environmental issues.  After all, how bad can it be when the Arctic is ice-free in another summer or two, another super storm plows through a few of our principle cities, or the Mississippi goes totally dry?

    Wake up.  Please.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:24:28 PM PST

  •  Challenge from Kos on Twitter: Propose wording (7+ / 0-)

    While his tweet addressed it to a couple of people you may have heard of, it's fair game for all.

    My try (but please add yours):

    1) Will you take action to aggressively reduce greenhouse gases emitted from the United States, and prevent development of any new projects that would allow carbon fuels to be exported from the United States?

  •  Wages (0+ / 0-)

    The question on EFCA is nice, but it should be part of a more general question on jobs and wages. I know I've said it before, but our trade policies have resulted in a catastrophe for workers.

    • The percentage of business income going to wages went down from 60% in 1980 to 50% today.
    • Worker productivity since the 1970s is up over 80%.
    • But wages for non-supervisory workers (you, me, and most Americans) is down about 8% since then.
    • Unemployment is 0.9% higher in the 30 years since the end of the 1970s vs the 30 years before that.
    In other words, since we started shipping wealth-producing jobs overseas in the 1970s we've been screwed.

    And now, the Republicans, the very same people who lead this trade disaster to line their pockets, are using it to cram down "austerity" on the American people. They created this enormous fiscal disaster, where workers have half the wages they are entitled to, and then they demand cuts to services that protect people from the harm they caused.

    What I want to know is which of the candidates is going to do something meaningful about this. Who will stand up and say "Enough"?!

    I don't think more than 10% of the candidates DK sponsored last year even have the problem in their heads, let alone a meaningful position to fix it.

    That's why you have to start asking them:

    • Are you in favor of an international minimum wage?
    • Are you in favor of higher, uniform tariffs?
    Or, do you have another, workable plan to get wages and jobs back up where they belong?

    This is the fundamental problem. If we don't fix this, there won't be any progressives left. Just owners and serfs.

  •  Suggested question (6+ / 0-)

    Do you oppose subsidies to fossil fuel industries and will you support funding to build infrastructure that reduces climate change emissions, including wind power, solar power, and high speed rail?

    - It covers the oil subsidy issue that keeps coming up. It weeds out those who support subsidies for "clean coal" nonsense. It deals with funding authority that's under the control of Congress. Keystone XL and EPA air regulation are important, but they're mostly in Obama's hands now. They aren't the most appropriate issues for a Congressional questionnaire at this time.
    Ending fossil fuel subsidies and funding clean energy are what we need from Congress right now since cap-and-trade is essentially dead for the next two years. If there's another jobs bill it needs to be a green one.

  •  Sounds like you folks wouldn't support (0+ / 0-)

    Gabby Giffords

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:05:46 AM PST

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