As the Mid-term campaign season ramps up it’s time to ask questions. This is your time to rule the conversation with the people that will be ruling you. Make the most of it by using these questions to find out what may “lie” in your future. When we view news clips of Town Hall meetings the same things are usually aired. Why? It’s not because that’s all Americans have to say but the media turns the focus into feel good stories. Especially if they like the politician. It’s up to us to ask the tough questions, leave the fluffy ones at home. These are the top questions to ask any politician. They are focused on what we all really need to know about our own American Dream.
- How many days a year do you work? US Congressional leaders usually spend Tuesday through Thursday at the Capital. Most of their time is spent fundraising for their next election-especially US Representatives. Studies show Congressmen and women only spend 145 days a year at work on the Capital while the average worker works 261. Make sure you let them know you expect a fair days work for a fair days pay.
- Where’s are the boundaries of your district? This is always a good question to ask a carpetbagging political hopeful. Scott Brown was infamous for switching states to try to win an election. Even our illustrious Hillary Clinton only bought a house in NY to run for Senate after spending the majority of her life in Arkansas and D.C. If they don’t know where they will govern, then they probably don’t have your best interests at heart.
- What’s your entire yearly salary including businesses and interests outside of government? This one always embarrasses the guy or gal running as your average American. Politicians normally need to be millionaires to even run an election. Our US Senate is called the millionaires club due to their incredible monetary status. Does a person making 100 times your salary really know your life? It’s proven everyday that politicians no longer live like the people they represent. They have lifelong insurance, pensions and benefits. Not that you need to be jealous or hateful, but money has too much to do with their governing.
- What is your day job? State legislators have very low salaries compared to national office. They normally have day jobs that can be influential in their legislative duties. Many times, skimming the line of legality. Beware of consultation jobs as they are paid by businesses and special interests that result in legislation. Beware of a group of similar jobs as they create legislative blocs in the state house.
- What is our minimum wage? As states, cities and municipalities legislate their own minimum wages, politicians must know what their average resident makes. A district could be split between two counties that have minimum wage differences such as Cook County, Illinois vs Will County, Illinois. If they want your vote or support, they need to make a living wage a priority for every resident regardless of their address.
- How many of your constituent tax dollars fund prisons? Prisons consume 5% or more of every states tax dollars. Depending on the state that could be upwards of a billion dollars a year. Studies have proven that restorative justice, rehabilitative education and second chance programs decrease these costs. The rise in women in prison cost states extra funding as they must care for thousands of parent-less children.
- What policy will you enact to battle the opioid crisis? Do not let them ignore this question nor slip by with a simple answer. You want to know what they will force pharmacies to do with prescriptions? Will they enact legislation for the police force to monitor prescriptions and who is receiving them? As millions of Americans continue to submerge into addiction, every politician should have a local, state and national answer to combating the crisis. Our lives depend on it. Here’s an example: https://politicalwrites.com/national-opioid-policy/.
- What plan do you have for revitalizing manufacturing? The decline in manufacturing has created it’s own type of cyclical poverty across America. Just think of the Rust Belt where millions of people once had middle-class jobs-now they have food stamps. They must have a plan of action to open manufacturing plants. A Wal-Mart won’t be enough. A quick view of Janesville, Wisconsin tells the whole story.
- Will you support expanding a union workforce for our governmental workforce? As the Janus decision continues its barrage against Labor unions, those workers still earn higher wages than non-union. Your tax dollars will be directly invested in a workforce that spends more money because they make more money in your area. Labor union workers invest in housing, schools, open businesses and more. A higher wage is a higher quality of life for everyone in the area.
- Will you vote against your party? Every politician rises through a collective effort from their party. They are funded by their party in their first run, supported by fellow party members as freshman in the hopes of an adherence to a party platform. But not all party plans of action are good for you and your community.
This may not be as fun as David Letterman’s top 10 but the truth has a way of seeping out in confrontations. These questions may not get you an invitation to their new capital office but at least you will know a little more about who you have or have not voted for.