Thousands of dollars in contributions from outsiders to independent expenditure committees are flooding the local City Council races making it difficult for candidates to control their messages. It takes a savvy voter to find out who's donating. (Photo courtesy Google Images).

THE NEWSROOM – Calling all undecided voters (and staunchly decided voters willing to test their faiths)!

The Daily Press has partnered with ProCon.org to create a quiz that shows voters which candidates they share the most ideals with. It can be taken here: localelections.procon.org

City Council candidates were asked 15 yes or no questions last month. Board of Ed candidates were asked 11. SMC Board candidates were asked six.

The answers were entered into ProCon’s database and now the quiz is live for all to take.

Do you think Santa Monica is business-friendly? If so, that’s a view you share with Himmelrich, Feinstein, McKeown, and Kennedy. If not, you’re with Later, Bain, Brock, Muntaner, and McKinnon. If you think Santa Monica is appropriately balancing the needs of the city and the homeless population then you side with McKeown and Brock.

At the end of the quiz, and as you take it, ProCon will tell you which candidates you agree with most often. You can click the box next to each candidate’s name to see how they answered on each question.

When you’re done with the quiz, click over to the side-by-side comparison of the candidates. You can see how each candidate answered each question.

The voter guide lets you go question by question to see why each candidate answered the way they did or why they chose not to answer with a definitive yes or no. This section includes long form answers from the candidates

Nearly 1.8 million people used ProCon during the 2012 presidential election season. The site linked voters with candidates, asking about 75 different issues.

ProCon is sponsoring the Daily Press’ Squirm Night, a candidates’ forum at the Broad Stage starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13.

A few things to keep in mind when taking the quiz:

o The answers aren’t weighted. If all you care about is keeping the Santa Monica Airport open, you’ll probably vote for Bain and Later regardless of what you think about their views on other issues but ProCon is keeping a running tally of your tendency to agree with candidates on all the issues. Issue-specific voters might do best to use ProCon’s voter guide.

o Candidates were given the ability to answer “Neither or Unsure” to questions. Some candidates answered yes or no to every question. Others, like Board of Education candidates May and Finer, answered as few as two. If you agree with them on both of their definitive issues, you’ll share 100 percent of their views, even if you don’t know where they stand on every other issue.

o Obviously, there are more issues than the ones we asked about. We tried to hit the most-talked-about issues in the city but they are by no means definitive. If you want more, come out to the most fun candidates’ forum in town: Squirm Night, at 6 p.m. on Oct. 13 at the Broad Stage.

Question Solicitation

The Santa Monica Daily Press is accepting questions from the public to be posed to candidates on Squirm Night. Questions can be candidate or issue specific and the editorial board is accpeting questions for any of the three local races. Questions should be emailed to editor@www.smdp.com.

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