Stephanie Mencimer

Stephanie Mencimer

Reporter

Stephanie works in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. A Utah native and graduate of a crappy public university not worth mentioning, she has spent several years hanging out with angry white people who occasionally don tricorne hats and come to lunch meetings heavily armed.

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Stephanie covers legal affairs and domestic policy in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. She is the author of Blocking the Courthouse Door: How the Republican Party and Its Corporate Allies Are Taking Away Your Right to Sue. A contributing editor of the Washington Monthly, a former investigative reporter at the Washington Post, and a senior writer at the Washington City Paper, she was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2004 for a Washington Monthly article about myths surrounding the medical malpractice system. In 2000, she won the Harry Chapin Media award for reporting on poverty and hunger, and her 2010 story in Mother Jones of the collapse of the welfare system in Georgia and elsewhere won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.

Today, Rick Santorum sent me an urgent email. He needed my advice! So of course, I had to open the email to see how I could help. It turns out that Santorum, one of the back-of-the-pack 2016 GOP contenders, was soliciting suggestions on what he should focus on during the GOP presidential debate on Wednesday. Oddly, this seemed to indicate he doesn't have a strategy of his own.

He wrote:

 

I clicked on the links and found that Santorum was offering a poll giving his supporters a chance to tell him what he should concentrate on when it's his time to speak during the debate. The list of possibilities included "fighting radical Islam," dissing Common Core, and combatting "immoral government spending." (The website incorrectly stated that the debate is Thursday.)

I picked stopping radical Islam, hoping that once I'd voted, I could see the results of the poll. Alas, I was immediately directed to a donation page. I'll have to wait until Thursday—er, Wednesday—to see if Santorum takes my advice. But for now he deserves credit for a new campaign tactic: crowd-sourcing debate planning.

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