With so many candidates vying for election in November, it is difficult to scrutinize them all. Voters cannot rely on the Candidate Intention Statement because this form requires so little information: name, address, phone and little more. And if past forums are any guide, these events will do little to shed light into the full background of participating candidates. Voters need to know basic facts that go to each candidate’s background, character, and fiduciary history.
Questions such as:
- Full legal name, previous names and aliases
- What is your highest educational achievement?
- How many years have you lived in Laguna Beach?
- How many postal codes have you lived in over the past 15 years?
- Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony?
- Has a restraining order ever been filed against you?
- Have you or a business for which you serve as a director, ever been indicted?
- Have you or a business for which you serve as a director, ever filed for bankruptcy?
- Have you ever been disbarred, censured or disciplined by a professional organization of which you have been a member?
- Are your property tax payments up-to-date (if renter, are your rent-payments up-to-date)?
Answers to these questions are not necessarily disqualifying but will help voters to better assess the person they might offer their vote. Candidates are essentially applying for a job and in all other situations, extensive background information would be mandatory before a job offer is made; why would it be any different for candidates for elective office? I urge all forum organizers to require full disclosure prior to admitting a candidate’s participation. I also urge candidates to provide answers to these questions on their social media sites and of course, individual voters to seek full disclosure from candidates they are considering giving their vote.
Michael Morris, Laguna Beach