Survey says: New Wash. Co. senator seeks opinions
Call it Legislating Version 2.0.
Sen.-elect Christopher Shank has put together an Internet survey for his constituents, asking 10 questions ranging from national health care to the makeup of the local board of commissioners. After months of persuading voters that he had the right vision for Washington County, he now wants you to persuade him.
Shank, a delegate since 1999, ousted fellow Republican Sen. Donald F. Munson this fall. He'll be sworn in next month.
As House minority whip for the past four legislative sessions, Shank was never short on opinions. He challenged Munson in part because he thought the senator was "too liberal" for Washington County. So why the survey?
"Democracy works best when there is an active and engaged citizenry. It is also a two-way street. I need to know where my constituents stand on the important issues of the day," Shank, an adjunct political science professor at George Washington University, wrote in the survey intro.
Among the queries: Do you favor/oppose legalizing same-sex marriage in the State of Maryland? Should national health care reform be repealed? Should the gas tax be increased to pay for transportation projects?
This morning, Shank wrote on his Facebook page that more than 250 people have taken the survey so far. "I will use these survey results during the next legislative session to help formulate my position on a number of issues," he said.
"The responses so far to the open-ended question have been particularly insightful in helping me keep my finger on the pulse of the electorate," Shank wrote.
Shank is publicizing the survey through his social media sites and email contacts. He also has an ad for it in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
The new senator has promised to keep individual responses private but will share overall results on Facebook in the coming days.