To help the voting public become introduced to as many of the candidates as possible and where they stand on the issues, I've decided to publish a series of interviews with the candidates. Given the scope of this blog obviously the candidate must reside within Murfreesboro or have Murfreesboro within their district.
For those who are new to this blog, wonder why it's here, and why I'm wanting to do these interviews let me give you a quick bio of myself:
My name is Jacob Bogle, I was born in Murfreesboro in 1984 and have spent my entire life within 40 miles of the City, and my family has lived in this area since the Revolution. I have studied theology, architecture, and pharmacology, and spend my time conducting research for individuals and groups. I have been involved in politics - at some level - since I was a teenager and over the past year I have had the opportunity to serve as Treasurer for the Rutherford County Young Republicans and as Secretary of the Rutherford County Campaign for Liberty. I am a firm believer in the rule of law and using logic and reason within our daily lives. I believe that what happens locally affects us much more than just about anything that the federal government does and based on that I feel we must get our local community deeply engaged in the political process.
I will conduct interviews (with all who are willing) with each individual candidate running for a given office with the exception of City Council and County Commission. For the Council and Commission, I will ask each declared candidate a series of questions based on specific issues and where they stand on them. I will then publish each candidate's answers together. I am declining to do individual interviews with each Council and Commission candidate simply because there will be a lot of candidates, and I do mean a lot, and I think the purpose of this endeavor would get lost in the fray making it more difficult for my readers to find the information they need - and because I have no desire to fill this site with 100 interviews. Also, I will not conduct any interviews for "board" related offices (School Board etc.) for the same reason.
The interviews will be tailored to each position sought and I will make an effort to also make each interview specific to each candidate. There will be a few rules and I will be zealous enforcing them, as well as being impartial in my wrath with those who fail to abide by the rules.
Interview Rules and Design:
1 a. The interview will be conducted via electronic means unless the candidate or myself would prefer - for any reason, to conduct the interview in person. If the interview is conducted in person the full time we are together for the purposes of the interview will be voice recorded. This means from the moment we say "Hello" to "Goodbye."
1 b. I will submit the interview to the candidate via E-mail or Facebook Messaging in the form of a Microsoft Word document. The candidate will have no more than two weeks to complete the interview and send it back to me. Any revisions that may need to occur (based on my discretion) will be discussed after the first answer version is submitted to me and will not be subject to the two-week time limit. However, I would prefer to have each interview published on this site no later than three weeks after I first submitted the questions to the candidate.
2. Only the candidate may complete the interview. No staffers may do the actual answering. They can help the candidate research, but in the end it must be the candidate's fingers on the keyboard and in their own words.
3. Answer every question honestly and directly. If I feel the candidate is dodging a question I will ask him/her to be direct and clarify. If a candidate fails to do so I will make a note of it in the published interview for all to see.
4. I am not here to catch anyone in a mistake or hinder any candidate. I will try to help anyone through the interview if they run into a problem, aren't sure what the question is asking, etc.
5 a. The candidate must agree that the full body of discussion (which will largely be based on E-mail, Facebook messaging etc.) between the candidate and myself regarding the interview should be considered public record. While I do not intend to publish everything - other than the interview itself, if something arises during any problem, question, or interview related communication which I find pertinent for the purposes of public education I will add it. Remember, this could be as simple as a comment the candidate made which I think could benefit him/her, or something which worries me.
5 b. Once the interview is completed and published any further discussions will not be considered public record unless the candidate explicitly agrees to it.
6 a. Each interview will contain an opening and closing "general statement." The candidate can use those spaces to say whatever they wish, but I would prefer the opening statement to include something about their background and basic campaign theme (purpose), and the closing statement should be used to highlight the candidate's perceived strongest points.
6 b. Neither the statements nor other answers should be longer than two paragraphs each. If I feel they are too long or too short I will ask the candidate to trim from it or add to it.
7. Due to the wide range of positions sought and the unique nature of each individual I can not promise that an interview will be of a certain length. It may grow or shrink in size based on the candidate's answers and if I think the public would like to know more about a given answer or topic. In general, the interview questions (just the questions, not questions and answers) should not exceed two pages. Again, that's just a general rule of thumb and it may be a single page or five based on the willingness of each candidate to provide thorough answers as well as their desire to get their full message out to the voters.
8. If any candidate has a problem with any of these rules, please let me know beforehand. I will only accept a slight modification (if requested) to Rule # 5. If the candidate agrees to do the interview and does not express dissatisfaction with the rules within 48 hours of me submitting the interview questions to the candidate then the candidate automatically agrees to abide by these rules as written.
9. I will approach every person I know to be a candidate with a request for the interview and I will list the names of everyone who declines to do the interview with the candidate's reason if provided. If you are a candidate and would like to participate in this interview process please contact me.
10. I will include the candidate's campaign website, Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, and contact phone number at the end of each interview if requested. I will not include any other contact information or social networking sites.
The first elections are in April and there is a lot of ground to cover. I hope my readers and the candidates find this process enjoyable, and more importantly, informative. Please stay tuned.
I can be contacted via Facebook at Facebook.com/JacobBogle or by E-mail: jacob_bogle AT yahoo.com (replace the "AT" with "@" and remove the space on either side of "AT" - done to prevent spam).