Colorado 2010 Candidate Survey

Created by Ari and Linn Armstrong

[January 24 Update: Links to candidates’ replies and related material are posted following the survey.]

The following survey is open to all Colorado candidates running for the 2010 elections. Candidates should fill out the survey and return it via e-mail to ari(at)freecolorado(dotcom). The survey should be sent as text only within the body of an e-mail, not as an attachment. Answers will be published in full and without editing at Candidates should include contact information for verification purposes.

We will personally send the survey to all major-party candidates running for governor and U.S. Senate. We may send the survey to other candidates as well. We do not have the resources to send the survey to — and track answers from — every single candidate in the state. However, all Colorado candidates are welcome to respond to the survey, and will publish every reply received.

Obviously we may choose to quote from a candidate’s answers in our own articles, as may other journalists.

Voters interested in the answers of a particular candidate are encouraged to ask that candidate to send us a reply. Moreover, we encourage other journalists to press candidates for their answers to these important questions.

We have heard from various candidates who decline to answer at least some surveys. We strongly encourage candidates to answer ours. We believe that Colorado voters deserve to know where candidates stand on the issues.

Our goal is to fairly elicit a candidate’s substantive views on a variety of critical issues. While many of the questions may be answered yes or no, we encourage candidates to offer whatever nuances they deem appropriate. If you think a question is loaded, tell us why. If you want to explain how your thinking has evolved or how your answer squares with your record, please do so. If you have not developed a position on some issue, say as much. We will reproduce your answers as given. We do ask that candidates not confuse nuance with evasiveness.

Note: Some questions are marked for state-level or federal-level candidates. While all candidates are welcome to answer all the questions, candidates for one level of government need not answer questions specific to another level.

We believe that candidates can be fair to voters only by revealing their views on the important issues of the day. We look forward to reading and publishing the replies.


In a Twitter-length reply (140 characters maximum), please state why you are running for political office.


* Should the federal or state government spend money in an attempt to “stimulate” the economy? If so, on what sorts of projects?

* Should tax dollars be directed toward energy projects, tourism, or any other form of business subsidies?

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights be kept completely intact? If not, how should it be altered?

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should Amendment 23 be repealed, maintained, or modified?

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should any particular state taxes or fees (such as the state corporate income tax or the subjects of the tax-cutting initiatives) be repealed or reduced? Should any be added or increased?

* Should state or federal spending (depending on which office you seek) be higher or lower than it is currently?

* Should the state or federal minimum wage (depending on which office you seek) be repealed, maintained, or increased?

* Should college education be subsidized by tax dollars?

* Should antitrust law or its enforcement be changed?

* (Federal-level candidates:) Should Sarbanes-Oxley be repealed?


* What do you believe is meant by the “separation of church and state,” and do you endorse it?

* Should religious institutions receive tax dollars for providing welfare or other faith-based services?

* Should the teaching of creationism or Intelligent Design be subsidized by tax dollars?

* Should tax-funded schools establish a period of permitted or required prayer?

* Should government officials promote religiously oriented displays and comments on government property and at government events?

* Do you support gay marriage?

* If you answered no to the question above, do you support domestic partnerships, civil unions, or comparable legal recognition of gay couples?

* Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children by the same standards as heterosexual couples?

* Should government never, always, or sometimes mandate parental notification and consent before a minor may legally obtain an abortion, and, if sometimes, under what conditions?

* Should government mandate waiting periods or ultrasounds before a woman may legally obtain an abortion?

* Do you endorse the “personhood” measure that may appear on the 2010 ballot?

* Should abortion be legal in cases of fetal deformity?

* Should abortion be legal in cases of rape or incest?

* Should abortion be legal in cases of risk to the woman’s life, as determined by the health professional selected by that woman?

* Should elective abortion be legal?

* If you believe that abortion should be legally restricted, what criminal penalties do you advocate for a woman and her doctor for obtaining or facilitating an illegal abortion?

* Would execution ever be an appropriate penalty for obtaining or facilitating illegal abortions?

* Should types of birth control be legal that may prevent a fertilized egg or zygote from implanting in the uterus?

* Should fertility treatments be legal that may result in the freezing or destruction of a fertilized egg or zygote?

* Should research involving the use of embryonic stem cells be legal?

* Should abortions or embryonic stem cell research be subsidized by tax dollars?


* (Federal-level candidates:) Should the U.S. expand a legal guest-worker program or legal immigration, and, if so, by how much?

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should Colorado government force employers to verify with the federal government the legal status of potential employees, and, if so, what penalties should apply for failure to do so?

* Should federal or state tax-funded benefits (depending on which office you seek), including K-12 education, be extended only to U.S. citizens, to legal immigrants and guest workers, or to everyone in the U.S. including illegal immigrants?


* What restrictions, if any, should be placed on the use of eminent domain?

* Do you endorse the use of eminent domain in the case of the Pinon Canyon military expansion? Do you support the military expansion if it does not involve eminent domain?

* Should the Endangered Species Act be altered or differently enforced?

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should the smoking ban be maintained, expanded, or repealed? Should it apply to on-stage performances?


* Should McCain-Feingold and state campaign finance restrictions be repealed, maintained, or expanded?

* Should the federal government control what radio or television stations may broadcast?

* Should the FTC’s rules regarding blogger endorsements be rescinded?

* Should students with licenses be legally permitted to carry concealed handguns on the property of tax-subsidized colleges?

* Should additional restrictions be added (or repealed) on gun ownership? Please specify.

* Do you believe that desecration of the U.S. flag should be outlawed by Constitutional amendment?

* Do you believe that pornography or obscene materials involving consenting adults should be legally restricted?


* Should state or federal laws (depending on which office you seek) pertaining to marijuana be altered, and, if so, how?

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should rules pertaining to petitioners be altered, and, if so, how?

* If there is any important issue that you believe we have missed, please state what it is and state your position on it.

Thank you.

Candidates Should Giddy Up and Answer Survey (Free Press column)

At Least Dan Maes Answered the Questions (Free Press column)

Curtis Harris Libertarian for Congress

Dan Maes Republican for Governor

Rich Hand Independent for Governor

John Finger Libertarian for U.S. Senate

Cleve Tidwell Republican for U.S. Senate

John Hargis Independent for Third Congressional