Thursday, June 12, 2014

Framing my own personal candidate questionnaire on internet access and court records

I like it when organizations send questions to candidates. Its a nice way to get them down on paper taking positions that they aren't likely bringing up on their own.I've though for awhile about putting together my own questionnaire, and two big areas seemed to pop out at me, PUDs and the internet and court records.

So, what I'm going to do is send these questions off to candidates and then, when I get some responses back, I'll post those.

Here's the question (or something similar) that I'm going to send to Public Utility District and legislative candidates. It is framed around the ideas I wrote about here.

1. PUDs are allowed by law to become wholesale internet service providers. With the already limited number of private companies providing internet access abandoning net nuetrality, we have the opportunity through our PUDs to help provide inexpensive and fair access.

Do you think the Thurston PUD should enter the broadband market? Also, do you think the state legislature should lift the ban of PUDs selling internet access direct to customers?

Here's the question that I'm going to send to legislative candidates and the two candidates for county clerk. I've written more on this topic here.

2. Court records are understood by common law to be public records. While they aren't specifically considered under Washington State's public records act, they are as important as any public document. 

Despite this, the cost to citizens to obtain copies of court records is prohibitive. For example, it costs nearly $30 for an electronic copy of a 16 page document. This is well above what would be considered reasonable for a similar document from any other part of government.

Should the legislature allow counties to charge the same amount for any public document, including court records?

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