series)" />
Explore Harvard's Nieman network Nieman Fellowships Nieman Lab Nieman Reports Nieman Storyboard

Homeland security questions for state and local candidates

ASK THIS | August 19, 2004

Americans are concerned about terrorism but many are skeptical about homeland security warnings. How do local office-seekers weigh in? Whom do they believe and what are they themselves doing? (Fourth in a series)

By Judi Hasson

Questions for state and local candidates for office:

Q. Where are you getting better information about terrorism — from the government or from the news media? And can you go into a little detail on that, please?

Q. Do you think some of the disclosures the federal government is making and the timing of disclosures have been politically motivated?

Q. Do you support issuing a national identity card to every American? Why, or why not?

Q. Can you tell us: Do you yourself have an emergency supply kit in your home? Do you have an evacuation plan in the event of a catastrophe? What precautions are you and your family taking?

Q: In your own municipality/county/state, would you be willing to spend more money on security at the expense of schools and other local priorities?

Q: Do you feel the police and other first responders in your community are equipped to deal with a terrorist incident? If not, would you be willing to find other ways to pay for equipment – such as sharing resources with neighboring communities or getting local companies to help pay for it?

As the third anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, government leaders are warning Americans to expect new incidents of terrorism in the U.S. These questions are aimed at getting candidates for local and state office to spell out some of their views on the terrorist threat.

If you work in a state that is up for grabs in the presidential election, you might pay attention to what happens when the presidential candidate comes to your state and whether the state and local candidates use the issue to bolster their own positions.

And if national security is not an issue in the local race, why isn't it?

The website is no longer being updated. Watchdog stories have a new home in Nieman Reports.