I can't tell how much anyone cares about evaluating the candidates, since the election outcome will be largely determined by matters other than who is the best candidate.
Be that as it may, I am interested in doing a candidate evaluation exercise. I solicit participation by anyone else who is interested.
I am starting off in draft form, and maybe the evaluation will be done in a piecemeal fashion.
I think it is appropriate to break candidate evaluation into two parts.
One part I will call "substance." Substance includes understanding about issues and problems, and about the relevant politics of the issues and problems.
Such understanding is important, because without it, a candidate, if elected, will be misguided in many things the candidate will do or try to do in his or her elected office.
If election outcomes were determined on the basis of who is the best candidate, it would be critical that a candidate demonstrate to the voters in the election campaign the extent of the candidate's understanding about issues and problems (including about their politics). Election outcomes are largely determined by other matters than that, and candidates will understandably be less than completely assiduous about communicating to voters in ways to show the extent of the candidate's understanding of issues and problems.
In fact, candidates may believe that it is advantageous in an election campaign not to reveal how much the candidate understands and perhaps even to be misleading about what the candidate understands about issues and problems (including the politics of the issues and problems).
If that goes on, it requires substantial speculation or intuition to decide about the extent of the candidate's understanding of issues and problems. For now, the candidate evaluations I am doing here will exclude that kind of speculating, and will be based only on what the candidate's statements indicate about the candidate's understanding of issues and problems.
Based on what I have heard from the candidates at the numerous forums that have taken place, and based on reviewing of the candidates' campaign websites, my evaluation is that I cream the other six candidates on this matter of "substance."
The second part I will call "effectiveness." Effectiveness is an evaluation of how well the candidate will be able to perform in doing the Congressman's job and takes into account things such as character traits and skills that are needed to perform the job well and past experience that specially equips a candidate for doing the job well.
Scott Beason and Paul DeMarco have prior experience as state legislators. An evaluation of how well they have performed as state legislators would be very helpful in evaluating them under the "effectiveness" category in this candidate evaluation. I am entirely lacking in information to do that. Perhaps others have done such an evaluation, and I will be able in due course to set forth here links to such evaluations done by others.
Will Brooke has a great deal of business and other experience. This is set out on his website. That experience should be viewed as plus for evaluating Will under this "effectiveness" category. I don't think I have any special qualification to say how much of a plus this experience is in doing this candidate evaluation and how much weight a voter should give in the voter making his or her voting decision.
Gary Palmer has his "think tank" experience and the exposure this has given to him of involvement with matters of public policy and participating in the developing policies and trying to get them implemented. Tom Vignuelle has his experience of owning and operating a small business. I would say the same about these experiences as I said above about Will Brooke. The experiences should be viewed as pluses, but how big of pluses they are for voters in making their voting decisions is more for the voters to decide about than for me to say.
I would say similarly about myself, my experience as a lawyer, and my experience in connection with doing my blog How To Combat Plaintiffs' Lawyers.
I solicit participation of others in this candidate evaluation exercise.
If the op/ed function of local media has put forth any candidate evaluation, I would appreciate being given a link to it so I can look at it and incorporate it in this evaluation exercise. Forum sponsors put on their forums to help their members and other voters to evaluate candidates, and they should have a special interest in candidate evaluation. The other candidates are invited to participate as well, but it unlikely they will. Anyone should feel at liberty to send me an email or leave a comment on this entry pertaining to the subject of candidate evaluation.