You may have noticed on my 2013 Elections page some new links in the Interview column for various candidates. That’s because three other local blogs have done interviews with candidates, both recorded and written, which is something we haven’t seen much of before. I decided to include them on my compilation page because all three of them talked to at least one candidate that I have not or will not be able to, and all of them asked different questions than I did. Since I consider the primary purpose of my interviews to be informative – to provide information about candidates for people who might not otherwise hear much if anything about them in an environment where there isn’t much mainstream media reporting being done on their races – I decided it was best to include these sources as well. A brief guide to the other interviewers:
New Media Texas, abbreviated as “NMT” on my page, was the first of these other blogs to do interviews. Durrel Douglas has video recordings of conversations with several candidates, mostly from District D but also with Mayor Parker and Ben Hall.
Texpatriate, abbreviated as “TexP” on my page, was the second to do interviews. The group blog sent out written questionnaires to multiple candidates and so far has gotten and printed over two dozen responses. As they note in the prologue to each interview, they “sent 10 questions based on seven different templates: (1) incumbent City Council, (2) challenger City Council, (3) open seat City Council, (4) challenger Controller, (5) incumbent Controller, (6) challenger Mayoral and (7) incumbent Mayoral.” They then print the answers verbatim, which led to some unintentional hilarity with the first version of mayoral candidate Eric Dick’s responses. You can see all of their interviews here.
Texas Leftist was the most recent entrant to the interview game. Wayne Ashley’s written interviews are abbreviated “TLCQ” on my page, which is his term for “Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire”.
On the matter of interview style, I have long preferred doing recorded interviews, as you have seen here. It gives me the opportunity to ask followups or to go in a direction I hadn’t originally anticipated, and I like hearing what the candidates have to say for themselves. I’ve done written Q&As for judicial candidates in years past, and will likely do some again next year for the masses of Democratic hopefuls, but I always worry that I’ll get cut-and-paste responses from a campaign staffer rather than real answers from the candidate himself or herself. That probably says more about me than anything else, but since I like doing the recorded interviews, it works for me.
Honestly, every year I may gripe about all the time and effort it takes to do these interviews, but I feel like I get a lot out of them. I enjoy meeting the candidates and hearing what they have to say, even if I have no inclination to vote for them. We may live in a deeply cynical age, but I find that the vast majority of the people I interview are running because they genuinely want to do something positive. That doesn’t mean I agree with their definition of “something positive”, but I respect the desire to serve and make a difference. I’ve gotten to know a lot of interesting people, and I’ve gotten to visit parts of the city I wouldn’t otherwise spend much time in. What’s not to like?