Over the next two months, political candidates around the Tar Heel state will be easy to find. They’ll be kissing babies in diners. Glad-handing in malls. They’ll have their talking points ready and their elevator speeches polished. But if you ask them the right kind of question, they may not be ready. We need to look for the kind of questions that make ‘em squirm—you know, that force them to choose, on the spot, between politics and principles. Here are 10 that should do the trick (and, yes, some are loaded):
1. In these tough economic times, will you take more of my family’s resources and give them to a big corporation threatening to leave North Carolina?
2. Would you support allowing North Carolinians to buy less expensive health insurance policies in other states?
3. What benefits of North Carolina (and U.S.) citizenship do you believe should also extend to non-citizens here illegally? A list is fine.
4. Should North Carolina taxpayers be on the hook to rebuild the homes of the wealthy out on the N.C. coast where hurricanes are likely to strike?
5. Do you support building expensive light rail in wealthier urban areas such as northern Wake and Orange Counties, where a ticket will be subsidized by all taxpayers (including the poor) to the tune of 80% or more?
6. Do you support issuing state debt (COPs) that has not been approved by voters?
7. Do you believe we should have to fund the political speech of someone we disagree with profoundly—as in so-called “voter-owned” elections?
8. Should road and highway money be distributed based on vehicle usage and maintenance needs, or something else? If some other criteria, which ones?
9. Would you support legislation that would mean video recording and archiving all legislative sessions and committee meetings—and making these available online?
10. What consideration, if anything, should limit the size and scope of government?