Endorsement FAQ

General

Why does Riveters Collective make endorsements?

  • To support the candidates who will best advance our platform.
  • To build political power and relationships with elected officials.
  • To provide the community more information about candidates.

Why does Riveters Collective endorse in the primary election?

  • The RC endorsement process utilizes a committee rather than a vote of the members.  The committee has access to extensive information about the candidates gathered via in person and written interviews. Each position has questions carefully crafted by endorsement teams surrounding current issues and needs of each elected position.
  • Unlike the Whatcom Democrats endorsement, an RC endorsement is not tied to substantial resource access that provide a significant competitive advantage.
  • We want candidates who best align with our platform to win.  That means they need our support first in the primary election in order to make it to the general election.

How does being endorsed by Riveters Collective help candidates?

  • Endorsed candidates benefit from public support from RC, including social media and website posts, as well as volunteer support from RC members.
  • RC may choose to use PAC funds to print slate cards.
  • RC may choose to undertake an independent expenditure campaign through the PAC in support of endorsed candidates.
  • All candidates who participate in the RC endorsement process will have their questionnaires and interviews shared publicly.

In which races does Riveters Collective make endorsements?

  • RC endorses in local races, from school board up to state legislators.  We focus primarily on races in Whatcom County and Bellingham, but will endorse in smaller cities and Skagit and San Juan counties as our endorsement committee capacity allows.

 

Process

How are members of the endorsement committee selected?

  • We posted the web-form application for the committee to our Facebook group and page, sent to our email list, tweeted and instagrammed.
  • 19 people applied to be on the committee and we invited all of them to join.  One person was not able to commit to the meetings and so declined to participate in the committee.
  • Qualifications for committee members:
    -Live in Whatcom, Skagit, or San Juan county.
    -Work collaboratively with positive intent to identify candidates who align with the  RC platform.
    -Commit to attending meetings and communicating with the committee March-early June.
    -Commit to making time outside of meetings for question development, editing, response review and scoring, and communication with the committee.
    -Anyone who is an officer, committee member, or employee of a political party, or who is already working on a campaign for which we plan to endorse is not eligible for the endorsement committee. Committee members will refrain from involvement in campaigns until endorsements are made in early June.

How does the endorsement committee evaluate candidates?

  • The committee is tasked with identifying which candidates will best advance the vision described in the 2019 Riveters Collective platform. We ask them to attempt to endorse one candidate in each race, but dual endorsements or no endorsement is allowed at their discretion.
  • Candidates are evaluated based on their responses to questions about campaign viability, issues and experience questions, and an in-person interview.  The committee scores how well their responses map to the RC platform, but is also encouraged to consider the person’s record, life experience, and vision.

How should candidates seek endorsement from Riveters Collective?

  • After filing closes, the committee will send an invitation to be considered for endorsement including instructions and a questionnaire to all candidates.  The endorsement committee may decide to exclude candidates with antithetical views. We use the email address provided by the candidate and available on the county auditor’s page.
  • To be considered for endorsement, the candidate should complete the candidate information sheet and the written questionnaire, and email them to riveterscollective@gmail.com prior to the deadline. Candidates returning their written questionnaire before the deadline will be invited to schedule an interview.  Candidates seeking our endorsement are also required to use a code of conduct in their campaigns.

How does the endorsement committee decide what questions to ask candidates?

  • Typically, the committee wants to ask each candidate 30 questions, but we ask them to narrow the list to 10. That requires negotiation and tough decisions.
  • Race subcommittees meet in person and online multiple times to formulate questions for each race that relate to the RC platform. Once drafted, the wider committee is invited to review and make comments/suggestions on each race’s questions.

How does the endorsement committee decide which candidates to recommend for endorsement?

  • Committee members score replies to the written questionnaire and in-person interview based on a rubric, outlining higher scores for ideal answers based on the Riveter’s platform of ideals.
  • The committee is also encouraged to consider the person’s record, life experience, and vision.
  • At the committee’s final meeting, they discuss and decide the final recommendations they will make to the the RC board of directors.

What about dual endorsements?

  • Since the goal is to provide clear guidance to voters, we ask the committee to use dual endorsements sparingly.  
  • Still, we’ve had one dual endorsement each year we’ve endorsed.

How is the final endorsement decision made?

  • The endorsement committee presents recommendations to the board of directors.
  • Usually the board votes to endorse all recommended candidates, but it is possible for the board to vote in a way that’s inconsistent with a committee recommendation.

Can an endorsement be revoked?

  • Revoking an endorsement requires a vote of the RC board of directors.  The directors will consult the endorsement committee chair prior to such a vote.
  • We would consider revoking for a code of conduct violation, if we learned that the candidate had intentionally falsified their endorsement materials, or other unethical or inconsistent behavior on the part of the candidate, at the discretion of the directors.