Opinion

Wish list for Federal Way candidates | Editorial

The Mirror is proposing a wish list for election behavior in Federal Way.

The inspiration comes from past political seasons that were tainted by attack ads and smear campaigns. One recent example includes the 2010 race for District 30 State Senator between incumbent Tracey Eide and Tony Moore, president of the Federal Way School Board. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on this close race, which Eide narrowly won in November. Supporters from each campaign targeted their enemy with heightened emotional messages about wedge issues that distracted from real problems in District 30 and Washington. A pair of websites were launched with unflattering photos of the candidates and distorted allegations.

The following list represents a blueprint for the path Federal Way candidates ought to pursue during an election.

1. Focus on promoting your own attributes, not attacking your opponent.

2. List priorities or changes you would work toward if elected. Be specific in how you would achieve those goals and fund them.

3. Offer facts, not unfair distortions, in any promotional campaign material. Keep the campaign fireworks under control.

4. If running for city council, define your ideas for downtown Federal Way and how they can be accomplished and funded. If running for the school board, offer specific ideas of how you would work to improve student test scores and increase more parent involvement.

5. Have a vision for your position and the city.

6. Demonstrate engagement in public affairs.

7. Despite being hundreds of pages in length, each candidate should have a solid understanding and working knowledge of the city or school budget. This document should serve as the foundation of every decision made by elected officials.

8. Don’t be afraid to call it like you see it. During the debates, we want to know how you really feel about the issues — not some canned politically correct response.

The Mirror editorial board congratulates the primary candidates for school board position 3 and city council position 3 for their campaigns thus far characterized by civility and positiveness. While perhaps lacking in depth, each candidate’s website, questionnaire responses, videos and debate answers dealt with their own backgrounds, qualifications and position on issues — and stayed away from negative innuendo and falsehoods.

This fall, The Mirror will endorse one candidate in each contested election race. The editorial board wants the candidates and public to know The Mirror’s endorsement decisions will also be influenced by the extent, nature and tone of a candidate’s campaigning.

The editorial board urges candidates to continue the civil discourse. We don’t need the time leading to the November general election to be another “silly season.”

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Contact the Federal Way Mirror's editorial board: editorialboard@federalwaymirror.com

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