Questions for the Democratic Candidates Seeking to Replace Burns

Just about two weeks ago, I sent out a list of questions to the Democrats seeking to replace Conrad Burns in the Senate. We, like a lot of Montanans, are trying to figure out which candidate we should support and work for, but would like to know what the candidates believe on the issues. Thus far, we have received one response from a campaign-with complete answers to our questions.

Now, I don’t have any illusions about the relative importance of this blog, but answering these questions will get some issues out there. There are still three days until we intend to post the responses–so we would love to hear backfrom the candidates (or their representatives) with their answers, or their reasons for choosing not to respond.

Elections should be about an informed electorate. Not about what scandal the media decides to trumpet.

Full text of the e-mail we sent below

Like many Montana Democrats, the staff members of Intelligent Discontent ( are trying to decide which candidate to support in the primary election to unseat Senator Conrad Burns. It is our hope that Montana Democrats will make a selection based on issues, not personalities or media representations of candidates. To that end, we are hopeful that you will consider articulating the positions that each of you will take if elected to the U.S. Senate. These questions will focus on foreign policy questions, and if there is interest, we will follow up with domestic issues.

The ground rules?

¨ There will be no limit to the size of the response.

¨ All answers will be held by our staff until posted. Thus, each candidate/campaign will have an equal chance to answer the question.

¨ We will post the answers we receive by February 1, 2006.

Blogs represent a unique opportunity to reach young voters turned off by the traditional media, and a place to articulate fully developed positions not defined by sound bites. We would love to hear from the campaigns—both to make us better informed voters as well as to help Montana voters learn what each campaign is truly about. We are excited about the prospect of unseating a Senator who doesn’t represent Montanans, and about making the best-informed choice among three outstanding candidates.

Thanks for your time.

Don Pogreba

(xxx) xxx-xxxx


1) Do you categorically oppose the use of torture by the American military and intelligence officers?

2) Do you support a specific timetable for withdrawal from Iraq? What specific steps do you believe the United States should take to ensure victory in Iraq?

3) Do you support the Central American Free Trade Agreement? Why?

4) Has the United States done enough to help alleviate African poverty? What further steps

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • 1. Is it true that you are working on setting up a Historical Center in the Missouri River Country?
    2. Will the less fortunante children be able to parcipiate first hand at this center?
    3. Will you be welcoming Archabbot Dom Augustine Baker from the Melchizedekian Missionaries to Montana to do a Mass for the People?

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