Hi, I'm running for governor and I'd like your vote

Scenario: Your at a political rally where a person is running for governor. Your in the audience and they hand you the microphone and you get to ask ONE question. What do you ask? Note - disregard political parties or previous knowledge of the candidates positions.

So please fill in the following:

  1. What state do you live in?
  2. What is the one question you ask?

I’d ask “Do you know the difference between your and you’re?”

  1. Florida (when I’m in residence in the US)
  2. “What’s your position on state implementation of the Affordable Care Act?”

I actually attended the inaugural rally for Ben Nelson back when I lived in Nebraska full-time, and shook his hand. If I’d known then what I know now, I’d probably have punched him in the nuts, the blue-dog insurance industry shill that he is.

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. Do you support passage of a medical marijuana law, and will you actively encourage it?
  1. Illinois
  2. What taxes are you going to raise to fix the pension mess?

We don’t get to vote for the Governor in my state (New South Wales), but if we did, I’d ask if they would make the same decision as Philip Game in dismissing the Lang government. (It’s the only significant decision that a Governor has made in at least 150 years.)

The position of “governor” in a US state isn’t really analogous to the position with the same name in Australia. I expect that you probably do have a state-level executive, but I’m not sure what you call that position.

I would probably ask a candidate “What is the basis on which you decide whether a law or policy is a good one?”.

Yes, it’s not the same, although it does derive from the same position of colonial governor, and the governor is the head of the executive government in the same way as the Queen is in the UK. The one who has the real power is the Premier, and I can only vote for that position indirectly, by voting for my state member of parliament.

I know you’re not supposed to fight the hypothetical, but I wouldn’t dream of asking a candidate a question before I had a pretty good idea of the candidate’s positions and things s/he had said publicly.

Because I’d want to use my opportunity to add to the public’s understanding of where the candidate stands, and the consequences of those positions, rather than asking a question whose answer could be turned up in a moment’s Googling.

Rhode Island. “Wouldn’t you rather run for the state’s highest office, Mayor of Providence?”

“How are you going to cooperate with the state assembly to pass a working budget?”

“What are you going to do to fix our failing public transportation system?”


We just had a gubenatorial debate among the Republicans, and all three candidates said they would not raise taxes, or fees, or set up toll roads to bring more funding to our highway department, which is already so broke it can’t even pay the match for Federal funding.

So my question is, “How are you planning to pay for stuff?”

  1. Florida.

  2. “Are you prepared to do the right and necessary thing, and commit career suicide, by calling for a state income tax?”

  1. DC
  2. What are you going to do to convince the rest of the United States that every American citizen living in this country ought to be entitled to having at least one full, democratically-elected representative in the Federal government, and educate them that this is not the case today?


Do you stand with the police, or with Black Lives Matter?

“How much of a campaign donation to get a pardon? Asking for a friend.”

New York.

This is one of the worst states in the union as far as grass roots participation is concerned — for years all the real legislation was hammered out in one of those proverbial smoke-filled rooms with just the Governor (Cuomo or Pataki), Democratic Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, and Republican Prez of the Senate Joseph Bruno in meaningful attendance; each of the two State houses was firmly in the hands of a political party (see above) and within that reigning party you were expected to cast the vote you were told to cast. Or, as member of the irrelevant opposition party you could be ignored.

So, you wanna be governor. What are you going to do to make a participatory government possible in this state?


“Are you on a mission from God?”

CA; “Pro-choice?”