Candidates respond to JSpot survey

You asked, they answered.
Or well, you sort-of asked, and they sort-of answered.
The results are in for JSpot‘s Domestic Jewish Agenda candidate questionnaires. Thus far, Senator Joe Biden, Senator John Edwards, Senator Barack Obama, and Governor Bill Richardson have responded. Download ’em here.
It’s slim pickings considering the number of clowns with their hats in the ring. Here’s hoping the rest of the candidates believe the progressive Jewish community is worth responding to. I know we don’t grease their wheels like Aipac, but we also outnumber Aipac’s constituency by what, 4:1? If only we could match their financing 4:1.
Unfortunately the candidate’s responses can’t really be explored on JSpot because they’re an apolitical non-profit. But seeing how Jewschool isn’t bound by the same restrictions, we can roll ahead and facilitate some type of discourse as to which of the candidates thus far really stacks up to our expectations.
For myself — just to give an overall general impression — I’m liking Obama’s answers best with Biden taking a close second. Obama is clear and succinct and his policies are more or less acceptable to me. I like Biden’s policies a little bit more but he’s far too gruff — too rough around the edges. I don’t want anymore cowboys in the Oval Office. I want statesmen who betray their class. Edwards and Richards are just non-starters for me. The former bores me to tears, the latter seems like a drunk hanging on your shoulder telling you his dream. I like Obama and I hate Democrats generally. I don’t like his textbook position on Israel nor his refusal to denounce the War on Drugs. But so far, I’m with him…

9 thoughts on “Candidates respond to JSpot survey

  1. I think Edwards is a kind of statesman who betrays his class. The main thing for me is, somewhat electable and contrite on Iraq. That excludes all but Edwards and Obama. I’ll go for whoever can defeat Hilary in the end; but I’d rather Edwards because he isn’t sucking up to the foreign policy hawks of the Dem Party like Obama is.

  2. i mostly second that pj, but i believe obama may have to do that in order to get the nomination. once he has it, he can traipse leftward again.

  3. Mobius
    AFTER the nomination he will move left ???? Wishful thinking.
    Democrats generally tack left pre nomination, then right pre general election, to capture the “middle ground”.


  4. I’m noticing the lack of mass participation on this thread. Let’s do a poll (Mob, can you do this?)
    YES I’m interested in the Democratic Primary right now. Candidates should be promoting their ideas, and we should be discussing them.
    NO It’s too fucking early. Don’t confuse a JFJ PR effort with serious engagement.

  5. i agree- it is TOO early. i haven’t read every word of these responses, but what i have read is pretty vague, stock stump-speech/campaign website material. the only one who really has the experience and ideas to accomplish any real change is richardson. he needs to at least get VP…I think the fact that everyone has started talking about money and electability so early (even 6-12 mos ago) is to the detriment of worthy candidates like richardson that don’t happen to have previously run for prez, been the first lady or be a minority poster child. hillary and obama are total sell-outs and i have no indication that either will not continue bowing to money-ed influence if they take office. we’re already fucked in iraq- at this pt we need to be forward thinking and not just rehash the same talking pts over and over again. edwards….i’m not decided on. i like his wife. wow– that was quite a rant.

  6. “Unfortunately the candidate’s responses can’t really be explored on JSpot because they’re an apolitical non-profit.”
    Hey Mobius–just a quick clarification that I think is important. They’re not apolitical, they’re a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and I believe nonpartisan (although I could be wrong on that, but nonpartisan also doesn’t mean apolitical, it means they don’t succumb to party-line politics)
    As such, they’re bound by nonprofit 501(c)3 status laws, resulting in restrictions on how they can engage in discussion around electoral candidates. Meaning, they can’t. All 501(c)3 orgs are restricted this way, which of course translates into stifling the political power that could be harnessed through the nonprofit industry (and yes, it is an industry), and part of why, when possible, orgs start PACs and (c)4 foundations so that they can lobby and have specific stances on candidates.

  7. Cole, a nonprofit can’t fund, endorse, or work for candidates. But it can certainly host a discussion board in which the public engages in discussion.What that means is that JSpot can have lots of articles by various people, provided that aren’t getting paid to support one candidate/party or the other.
    I’ve found that nonprofits are more skittish than the law allows. Behind a veneer of concern over IRS sanctions we find (in many cases) ignorance of the law, stupidity, cowardice and internal political maneuvering. And when we encounter a possible misunderstanding, it’s important to puncture a hole in the self-important, and oft-incorrect assertions about what NP’s can and can’t do.
    Check out this link to a great group that offers accurate information: http://www.afj.org/for-nonprofits-foundations/
    501c3’s can do a heck of a lot within the IRS constraints, and having JSpot host lots of debate and commentary wouldn’t violate anything, if done correctly.

  8. PJ, I just saw your response, and what you write is somewhat true, although not entirely true from how i understand it. from what i do know, nonprofits can write about the issues, or give scorecards about how candidates fall on the issues, but they can’t write about, or speak in anyway that might be surmised as an opinion or leading towards a political candidate. so, it’s obvious to see how blogs are a gray area, and what jspot researched and found was that the risks were greater than the benefits, and that jfsj would rather keep their doors open.
    but yes, you’re right, a lot of nonprofits feel too limited by the laws, but i don’t think that’s what happened in this case. i know mik did a lot of thinking and research on this…thanks for the link i’ll definitely check it out.

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