If blogging is a little light this week, it's because I'm editing video I took of the primary candidates when they came in for their endorsement interviews. There will be a short video for each of the contested races, and as they get done and put on our Web site, I'll link to them here, too. I asked all the candidates the same five questions:
1. What do you think of the Harrison Square project?
2. Would you keep the smoking ban scheduled for June as is or modify it in some way?
3. What do you think of studying government reorganization, including the possibility of a city-county merger?
4. What is the top priority city government should concentrate on?
5. What is the best thing about Fort Wayne?
Harrison Square, it seems, will be decided before the primary; but that's a good reason to ask about it. It represents a certain way of looking at government's role in economic development, and similar projects are sure to come up in the future. The smoking ban will have been in effect six months by the fall election, at which point it can be revisited or left alone; this seems like a good time to get everybody's views on the subject. Government reorganization has been on the table for a long time and seems likely to stay there. The two general questions about city government's top priority and Fort Wayne's best were asked just to see what kind of variety was brought out.
The candidates were each shown the questions at the start of their endorsement interviews with the editorial board, which means they had roughly 45 minutes to think about them while also answering other questions. Nobody refused -- 21 of the 27 candidates showed up for interviews, and all of them agreed to be videotaped. Nothing should be inferred from the fact that six people didn't come here -- it might be that they are not serious canidates, but it could also be that they don't care about newspaper endorsements in general or The News-Sentinel's in particular.
Nothing fancy on the videos -- just the candidates looking into the camera and talking -- and I didn't do a lot of elaborate editing except to show all the candidates in the same races answering each question at the same time. Take whatever value you can out of them.