One source I depend on to educate myself about the issues is the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby in Washington. You may have many other sources that keep you informed. Here are a few questions you may wish to pose to Alaska candidates for national office from the FCNL brochures "Questions to ask the Candidates in the 2008 elections". You can find more detail about these issues at the FCNL website http://www.fcnl.org/pubs/candidatequestions08.htm
Iraq: Support U.S. Troops by Bringing Them Home
The U.S. needs a new policy in Iraq.The bipartisan Iraq Study Group chaired by former Rep. Lee Hamilton and former Secretary of State James Baker recommended a new U.S. policy based on negotiations with all of Iraq’s neighbors, support for reconciliation inside Iraq, and a clear commitment to a complete withdrawal in consultation with Iraqis and the neighboring states. Will you support legislation to make these recommendations U.S. policy?
Time to Invest in Peace
A huge portion, about 95 percent, of what the U.S. spends to engage with the rest of the world is allocated to the military budget. A tiny amount, about five percent, is devoted to diplomacy, development, and supporting international institutions that can help to solve problems before they turn into deadly conflict. Will you support the U.S. paying its full, fair share of United Nations dues and commit to increasing funding for the State Department and U.S.Agency for International Development?
End the Word Games, Ban Torture
The U.S. Army has established firm policies—written into the Army Field Manual—that prohibit torture. Yet the Justice Department insists the CIA should be exempt from these Army requirements and have the right to torture some prisoners. Would you support legislation requiring all U.S. government personnel— including the CIA—to ban torture and abide by the definitions in the U.S.Army Field Manual?
Climate, Energy, and Human Security
As the leading global greenhouse gas emitter over the last century, the U.S. has a special responsibility to substantially reduce its emissions and help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the harmful effects of climate change caused in large part by past U.S. emissions. What specific policies will you support to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions quickly, deeply, and fairly and to help poor communities at home and abroad adapt to the harmful effects of climate change now?
Find more questions at http://www.fcnl.org/pubs/candidatequestions08.htm
or formulate your own. Share your thoughts by commenting to this posting.