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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(1) Why are some candidate names on the state pages colored blue but all the others are written in red? Why are a few candidate names are written in black?
All of the pages use the same HTML coding as to the links. A link will appear in red if you have not recently visited the linked site. However, if you recently visited a link, it will appear in blue. Your net surfing history -- not anything done by Politics1 -- determines the colors of the links as they appear on your computer screen. A name will appear in black only if we cannot locate either a web site or email link related to the named candidate.
(2) Many candidates throughout the site are referred to as being a "Frequent Candidate." What does this mean?
We get LOTS of emails related to this issue (usually from people who have had this term applied to them). Here's our policy: We like to identify all non-incumbent candidates -- when possible -- by an occupational or political activity description. Likewise, we find it useful to mention when a person has previously been a candidate for office. Space permitting on the description line, we like to identify the specific past political races in which a candidate has previously sought elective office without success. We quickly discovered that there was rarely room to mention the specifics of more than two prior campaigns. Some individuals, however, have run very often for office without any electoral success. Thus we developed the "Frequent Candidate" description and apply it uniformly to all candidates (regardless of political party) who have unsuccessfully run for office three or more times in a row in their most recent streak of candidacies. Here are some fictional examples:
  • Joe Smith ran for Congress in 1976 and 1982 and for Mayor of his hometown in 1996. He lost each of those races. He is now running for Congress in the current election cycle. Joe Smith = Frequent Candidate (even though the runs were spread over 25+ years).
  • Mary Gold lost for Congress in 1990, but was elected to Congress for three terms starting in 1992. She lost her race for re-election in 1998. She lost a race for State Treasurer in 2000 and is now running for Congress again. Mary Gold = NOT a frequent candidate (because she's only lost two in a row in her most recent streak of candidacies). However, if she loses this race and runs again for any other office, we will apply the frequent candidate moniker to her in her next race.
  • Steve McCandidate lost a race for state senate in 1994 and a race for Congress in 1996 as a write-in candidate. In 2000, he ran for Congress again but was disqualified from the ballot because some of his petition signatures were declared invalid. Now he is again running for office. Steve McCandidate = Frequent Candidate. Write-In bids (even as a protest candidate) and runs when a candidate was disqualified count as prior candidacies. FYI: So does dropping out of the race after losing for the a party's official endorsement at a nominating convention.
At the suggestion of a few of these candidates, we discontinued using the "Perennial Candidate" term back in 1998 in favor of our current Frequent Candidate tag. Further, we still suggest you visit the pages of all candidates (including the "Frequent Candidates") as each may offer good ideas and be well qualified to serve. Finally -- if you're still not happy with this policy -- we guess it goes to show a person can never entirely escape their past.
(3) On a state page, I see a person in italics -- which signifies the person is a "Potential Candidate." What does this mean?
This is a an entirely speculative listing. Then again, all political prognosticating and punditry involves speculation. A person identified in italics is listed because there has been at least some suggestion that the person may be a possible candidate to that office in the next election. Also, any person the subject of an ongoing Draft effort is also listed in italics (even if the person has openly tried to discourage the Draft effort). Any person identified in a published news account as merely "thinking" about a race is also identified as a potential candidate. Sometimes, a person is listed as a potential candidate because they directly emailed Politics1 and asked that we list them as a potential candidate -- possibly so that they can test the public reaction to the idea. Once the formal candidate filing period closes in a state, we remove all remaining potential candidates from our listings. Note: if your name is listed as a potential candidate and you'd like it removed, simply email us.
(4) On a state page, I see a candidate listed in bold identified as an "Active Candidate" -- but he only has an Exploratory Committee formed. He has made no decision about whether or not he will run. Why is he listed as "active"?
You'll note that we use the term "Active Candidate" -- not "Announced Candidate" or "Official Candidate." Our policy: an "active" candidate includes anyone who has publicly announced their intention to seek the office and anyone who has filed papers to form a committee and/or raise money for a possible bid the office (regardless of whether the filed committee is a Campaign Committee or an Exploratory Committee). Likewise, anyone circulating candidacy petitions on their own behalf is also regarded as an Active Candidate on Politics1.
(5) "You have a major mistake on the Presidential Cabinet page! You forgot to list John Doe [or whomever] in the Cabinet and he's very important. Please correct immediately!"
Actually, that is NOT a mistake. All heads of the various federal departments (State, Treasury, HHS, Justice, etc.) -- but NOT the heads of federal agencies -- are automatically accorded Cabinet rank. Thus, the Attorney General, Secretary of Commerce, etc., are all members of the President's Cabinet. Additionally, the President may grant Cabinet rank status to other high-ranking Administration officials. The President has also officially extended this status to the White House Chief of Staff, the EPA Director, the OMB Director, and the US Trade Representative. Excluding the above, no others are in the Cabinet. We have however, expanded the list there with a special second section further down on the page to include a few other key sub-cabinet level Administration officials.
(6) "I announced my candidacy for Congress two days ago. Why am I not yet listed on Politics1?"
With Politics1 trying to track races in 435 Congressional seats, 100 Senate seats, and statewide races in all 50 states -- meaning that we are literally trying to stay on top of thousands of candidates and potential candidates -- there is no way we can know about everyone who announces for office. Obviously, we always check official filings with state agencies -- but this info often appears long after a candidate launches a bid for office. If your name is missing from our list, simply send us an email identifying your name, state, race, district, party, occupation/office (for our descriptive tag) and -- if available -- a campaign website URL or email address. We'll get it posted as soon as possible..
(7) "But I emailed you my information three days ago and it is still not online. Are you trying to discredit my candidacy? If you don't post it within 24 hours, I'll be contacting my attorney about possibly taking legal action against Politics1!"
Politics1 is largely a one-person operation (with lots of volunteer help emailed by our readers) so we can not always get everything posted immediately. We promise to get it posted as soon as we can. We are not trying to discredit or slight you -- in fact, we've probably never even heard of you until now (but we're still sure you'd make a fine candidate -- something that will, presumably, be readily apparent to us just as soon as we get around to visiting your excellent campaign web site). And -- as for suing us -- you might want to research the first amendment and the heavy protections it grants us (remember: Politics1 is not government owned nor government funded, so "equal protection" arguments, etc., don't lawfully apply).
(8) Where are the listings for state senate and state house candidates?
As Politics1 is largely a one-person operation, we find it a challenge to just stay current with the thousands of candidates in the races we currently cover. At least for now, it is simply impossible for us to track the state legislative and local races in various cities and towns. Once in a while we add special sections on certain "Big City" mayoral races -- particularly those held in odd-numbered years -- but that has been the only exception (to date) to our rule.
(9) Where do you get the information for the candidate descriptions? How do you decided what terms to use in the description?
We review a candidate's web site (when available) as a starting point. Failing that, we obtain info from published news reports on the race and Internet searches of older materials that may enable us to identify the person. The descriptive tag is not meant to describe the totality of a candidate's career -- but rather is a starting point for our visitors. Hopefully -- if they follow all the links to the various candidate sites -- they can read more complete bios on each of the contenders. We also try to use neutral and more general terms in our descriptive tags. Here are some examples:
  • We use the general term "Attorney" -- but not more specific terms like "Law Firm Partner" or "Trial Attorney" or "Civil Rights Attorney" or "Corporate Attorney." However, we will use specific governmental titles for attorneys when applicable, such as "Assistant District Attorney" or "Ex-US Attorney" or "Johnsonville City Attorney."
  • We use the term "Accountant" rather than "Certified Public Accountant" -- simply because it is shorter and conveys the same meaning.
  • We use the term "Ex-" (rather than "Former") -- as in "Ex-Congressman" or "Ex-Teacher" -- simply because it is shorter. Readers should understand we intend it to convey the same meaning as if we had used "Former." However, "Ex-" is not the same as "Retired." When we use the term "Retired Army Officer" or "Retired Civil Servant," we intend to convey not merely that the person once held the job in the past (i.e., when we use "Ex-") but that the person worked at that position for a long enough period of time as to actually have reached retirement (qualified for a pension, etc.) from that job.
  • "Businessman" or "Businesswoman" is a term that we dislike simply because it is so vague and could include -- without distinction -- everyone from a street corner hotdog cart owner to a billionaire computer magnate. When we can better identify the nature of the business and the person's position, we will always do so. Also, we do not use the term "Small Business(wo)man" or "Small Business Owner" -- because nearly EVERYONE seems to claim this vague title and it is of little use to our visitors.
  • "Physician" applies to any type of medical doctor (both MDs and DOs). When more specific information is known (i.e., Ophthalmologist, Surgeon, Emergency Room Physician, etc.), we will use it. We use the term "Chiropractor" for all DCs.
  • We will not print outlandish titles, even if a candidate claims them on his/her web site. Thus -- and this is a real example -- we declined to list a Congressional candidate in 1998 as "God's Second Son" (even though he repeatedly emailed us asking that we do so). Likewise, "Genius" is not an occupation.
  • We do not use descriptions to help one side make political points. Thus, we will not use terms like "Carpetbagger" (even when requested to do so by an opposing candidate).
As for the "Frequent Candidate" tag, see above. We also do not use any adjectives in the tags. None of the terms used are meant to be derisive or show any preference on the part of Politics1 for any of the candidates in any races.
(10) You use the "Activist" descriptive tag a lot -- often attached to other terms. What does this mean and where do you get this information.
The "Activist" tag is used when it seems to accurately describe a candidate who has a history of involvement on a particular cause (or causes). Often, this information is culled from news reports and info on a candidate's own website. To remain neutral and objective, we typically use the terms that each side favors for describing themselves. Here are some examples:
  • A "Liberal Activist" is one who has been involved in a broader variety of mainstream liberal causes (environment, pro-choice, gun control, peace, civil rights, etc.).
  • A "Conservative Activist" is one who has been involved in a broader variety of mainstream conservative causes (anti-tax, pro-life, gun rights, increased defense spending, property rights, etc.).
  • A "Religious Right Activist" is one who has been involved in a broader variety of social conservative causes with an underlying religious foundation to that candidate's activism (pro-life, anti-gay rights, prayer in school, Christian Coalition, etc.). The term is not meant as a perjorative, but simply as a way to distinguish this form of conservative activism from the more secular form of conservatism.
  • A "Gun Rights Activist" is someone who has been active in the NRA or similar groups. By contrast, a "Gun Control Activist" is someone who has been active in the Million Mom March and other similar groups.
  • A "Pro-Life Activist" is one who has been involved in the anti-abortion movement. A "Pro-Choice Activist" is one who has been invovled in in the abortion issue through NARAL, NOW, and other similar groups.
  • A "Republican Activist", "Democratic Activist", "Green Activist," etc., is used to describe a candidate with a history of involvement in partisan campaigns, party organizations, fundraising, etc.
  • "Community Activist" is a more general term we use to describe someone active in neighborhood groups, charitible and civic groups, local causes, etc.
  • "Political Organizer" is one who professionally devotes most of their time to (and, typically, earns a living related to) grassroots political activities.
  • A "Left-Wing Activist" or "Right-Wing Activist" is one who has been involved in political groups or causes generally viewed as outside the mainstream of typical left/right American politics. Examples would include invidividuals generally active in the John Birch Society, Marxist or socialist groups, Militia or Patriot groups, etc. However, we sometimes will refer to an individual who fits these descriptions more precisely as a "Marxist Activist" or "Militia Movement Activist," etc. Important note: these terms are never used on our site to describe individuals who believe in the violent overthrow of the American government -- it simply means these people are much further left or right than their more mainstream counterparts.
(11) Does Politics1 ever endorse or recommend any candidates?
NO! Never has and never will. We are not trying to influence votes, only encourage a better educated electorate. Follow the links to all of the races in your area and make up your own mind about the candidates.
(12) I saw a banner ad for a candidate (or campaign consultant) on one of your pages. Isn't that an endorsement by Politics1?
No. You'll notice it also says "ADVERTISEMENT" immediately below the banner -- because the banner is a paid political advertisement by the campaign. Politics1 is simply a media outlet that the campaign used for that banner -- and the space on the same (and other) pages would be readily sold to any and all other campaigns if they too wanted to buy ad space on Politics1. A paid advertisement on Politics1 should never be interpreted as an endorsement on our part -- just as a paid full-page ad in a printed newspaper or a paid 30-second spot on a TV station is not any form of endorsement of a campaign by the newspaper or TV station.
(13) "Can you please explain how the rise of political consultants in the 20th Century has caused the decline of power of the political parties. Please explain in 3-5 pages, double-spaced, with specific examples, if possible."
Sorry, we won't do your school or college homework for you. (FYI: This question came from an actual email sent to Politics1.) However, if you're looking for a good basic intro to Congress -- as to history, procedure, party organizational stuff, and more -- visit the Center on Congress at Indiana University website.
(14) "No, seriously, I'm just curious about that question. It's really not a homework assignment."
Sorry, we still won't do your school or college homework for you.
(15) How many votes did Harry Truman win in the 1948 Presidential election?
Politics1 does not keep this kind of information. We'd suggest you visit the Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections for that answer.
(16) I want to run for Congress. What do I need to do and what are the filing requirements?
While the US Constitution sets the basic requirements to seek the job (at least 25 years old and a resident of state from which you are seeking office), ballot qualifying requirements vary from state to state. They also can be governed by additional party nominating rules. A good starting point is to contact the Elections Division of the Secretary of State's Office in your state (or whatever the State Elections Office is for your state -- they're all listed near the bottom of each of our state pages). They can probably point you in the right direction. In some states, you need to pay only a few hundred dollars in filing fees or file as few as 150 petition signatures to run. In other states, unfortunately, you may need to pay a filing fee of well over $10,000 or collect thousands of valid signatures just to get listed on the ballot. The rules can often be even tougher (if not impossible) for third party and independent candidates in some states. Some states even place extra obstacles in your way -- in NY, for example, an entire page of petition signatures is entirely void if even just one signature on the page is invalid. You will also need to file paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission. There are lots of other paperwork and financial reporting requirements -- but these are good starting points. See ... this is why many campaigns have to consult with attorneys and accountants to keep their campaign on the correct side of the law and meet complicated filing requirements.
(17) I want to start a new political party. What do I need to do?
There are already LOTS of established political parties out there representing many different views across the political spectrum. Thus, here's some good advice if you're thinking of starting a new party: DON'T DO IT!! Why? Because it is a lot easier to find a party you like (or that has weak leadership) that already has qualified for ballot status ... and to then try to take over that entity (at least, at the state or local level). Pat Buchanan's social conservative activists did this in 1999-2000 to Ross Perot's centrist Reform Party ... radical Soviet-style Marxists have grabbed on-and-off control of the leftist Peace & Freedom Party in California ... plus there are many examples of failed attempts to do this. It may sound tough to do this, but it is a lot easier than starting a new party from scratch! Remember, parties routinely write the rules that control their own nominating process -- so be sure to review the already established party by-laws, rules, procedures, etc.

However, if you are intent on ignoring our advice, then keep reading this answer. If your new party plans to support the election of federal candidates, you usually need to contact both the Federal Elections Commission and all applicable State Elections Offices in the states where you intend to run candidates. Ask each of office about the initial registration and ongoing financial reporting requirements -- plus candidate filing requirements. If your new party plans to support only state or local candidates, contact just your State Elections Office and ask them the same questions. As above, there are lots of other paperwork and financial reporting requirements -- but these are good starting points. Also: All federal, state and local political parties that raise or spend or intend to raise/spend at least $25,000 may also be required to file regular paperwork with the I.R.S. as a "527 organization."
(18) If Politics1 is a really one-person operation, why do you use the plural "we" so often?
Well, the "we "is actually me (Ron Gunzburger) and the entity comprising the site itself (Politics1). Here's the formula: Ron + Politics1 = We. We -- I mean -- I do not want to imply anything approaching the royal use of "we."
(19) This is such a corporate site in appearance, etc. I don't buy this "one-person operation" stuff. Who really owns and operates it?
Ha, ha. Politics1 is a sole proprietorship operated by Fort Lauderdale attorney and community activist Ron Gunzburger. That's it. No other investors or stockholders. No professional programmers or graphic artists -- although this last part may be rather obvious!
(20) Can I copy the graphics of the old campaign buttons for use on my site? Can I add a link to Politics1 from my site?
Yes (so long as you give us credit -- somewhere on your site -- as the source of the graphics), and Yes. You cannot, however, copy whole paragraphs or pages of our content for your site. If you'd like to do that, we insist that you simply provide a link from your site pointing to our relevant content ... or display our content (unaltered) within a frame on your site.
(21) Is there a more printer friendly version of some of your pages? Is the candidate data on your pages available in a database format or on mailing labels? Do you keep online archived versions of your pages from past elections?
With Politics1, what you see is what you get. We have no other materials available other than in the HTML form and format currently displayed online. We don't even keep archived versions of our pages from past election years (or past versions from even last week). However, if you're looking for older versions of our pages from the 1998, 2000, past pre-primary pages, and info, check out the amazing Internet Archive site at www.archive.org. Simply go there, enter our politics1.com name and view all the old, archived versions of our pages that they keep online (along with archived versions of millions -- maybe even billions -- of other web pages).
(22) "Although I will only be 23 years old during the next Presidential election, I still plan to run as a write-in candidate. Please add me to your list of candidates -- because I stand as a good of a chance of winning as some of the others you've already listed on your P2004 pages."
Sorry, but we won't include you in our listings. Likewise, we wouldn't include you in our Congressional listings, either, if you were running for Congress (as you'd also be Constitutionally too young). The same applies to dogs, cats, trees, cartoon characters, etc., that are "running" for office. We only list candidates who are legally eligible for the offices they are seeking -- regardless of whether or not they are politically viable candidates. The only clear exception that comes to mind would be a candidate who lawfully qualified for a spot on the ballot, subsequently died before the election, but state law kept the deceased person's name on the ballot. Don't laugh -- this usually happens once or twice around the nation every election year (Note: In Oklahoma in 1998, deceased candidate Jackie Leatherwood surprisingly won a run-off spot in the Democratic primary for US Senate -- but she lost the run-off to her still-living opponent). When this situation occurs, we change the descriptive tag to reflect the candidate's lack of respiration (to wit: "Died, but name remains on primary ballot").


 

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