“The most important political office is that of the private citizen.”  Justice Louis Brandeis

Prepare to ask the the elected official or candidate right question

Asking the right question takes some preparation: 

  • Here’s a sample question you can modify to fit your situation:
    • “Mr/Ms (fill in elected official’s or candidate’s name), I was reading that you have accepted a large campaign contribution from the [pharmaceutical industry [or other special interest], which benefits when their prices to consumers are high].  We all know that you can’t serve two masters  … so I was wondering, if you are elected by the hardworking people of this community … are you going to betray us, the hardworking taxpayers who pay your salary (pause) …  or are you going to betray the wealthy special interests and corporations whose large campaign contributions you took.”
  • Tips for preparing to ask your question:  Some folks call asking such questions “bird-dogging” … we think of it as being an engaged citizen doing their part to preserve and protect our precious democracy.  As in most things in life, preparation is key — So click here for important tips to help you prepare.    
  • Federal elected official or candidate (U.S. Congress or U.S. Senate):  Click here and we’ll help you identify their major campaign contributors)
  • State elected official or candidate (for example, the state legislature):  Click here and we’ll help you identify their major campaign contributors
  • Local elected official or candidate: for a local office (for example, mayor, county executive, or county or city council) the best source of information may be your state board of election’s web site.
    • For example, for Virginia:
      • Step 1:  Click here
      • Step 2:  Insert the last name of the candidate
      • Step 3:  Find the right elected official or candidate in the list (you may need to click through the pages with the arrows under the column “View Reports”),
      • Step 4:  Click the “View Reports” button located on the far right of the row with the name of the elected official or candidate
      • Step 5:  Click the “Large Contributions” button