Curious how last night’s We The People Committee candidate Q&A played out last night?
It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my years of covering political forums. Was that good or bad? It depends on what you expect out of a candidate Q&A I guess. In my opinion, the questions told you just as much or more about We The People as the answers did about the candidates.
Yankton School Board candidates at a forum Thursday evening had a strict set of rules to follow.
Three of the five individuals running for two open seats on the school board attended the event at JoDean’s Steakhouse and Lounge. It was organized by the We The People Yankton Committee, a group that advocated against the school district’s defeated Feb. 28 property-tax opt-out.
The school board election will be held April 10.
Committee member Wayne Wurth explained to D.G. “Butch” Becker, Matthew Pietz and Michael “Moose” Welch that they would be asked a series of questions by three moderators. In response to each question, the candidates could hold up a sign with a “yes” or “no” answer, or they could abstain if they did not feel comfortable with the question.
Clarifications, he said, were not allowed.
Current School Board president and candidate Kathy Greeneway did not attend the meeting and said in advance that she disagreed with the format. Mark Westerman was also absent.
The candidates were asked a total of 22 questions during the course of about 15 minutes. The audience was given a checklist with the questions so candidate answers could be ticked off as the forum proceeded.
Here are some images of the checklist (and my tally of the participant’s answers):
Notice the pledge at the end. I don’t know if any candidates actually signed it. I had to depart in order to meet my deadline.
I also took some video footage of the Q&A:
I think instead of signs, they should have had “Yes” hand puppets and “No” hand puppets. That would have been more visually stimulating, but hey, you can’t have everything.