Project Smart Vote Condemns Candidates

Oct 28, 2010

To say the president of the voter information group, Project Vote Smart, is miffed at Congressional candidates would be untrue.  He's down right MAD.  In an Op-Ed submitted to media outlets today, Richard Kimball says this year's candidates have avoided public scrutiny and overwhelmed citizens with a "bucketful of poppycock."  I could try to distil the cynical, scathing editorial, but honestly you should just read it for yourself (which you can below).  Vote Smart also has a video (below again) which shows some of the excesses received from candidates and political parties who have refused to answer the organization's candidate questionnaire.   Project Vote Smart  decided to infer the answers to their questions based on voting records - and created a web app to show how your Congressional candidates views match your own beliefs.

Project Vote Smart, CNN and prominent national leaders of both parties
completed the 2010 National Political Courage Test to measure each
congressional candidate’s bravado, tenacity and eagerness to avoid public

After being aggressively approached by citizens and national media pressing
candidates on crucial issues, a record 64% of the candidates stood their
ground in square-jawed, steely-eyed silence. The other 36% ran into the arms
of their tormentors, pleading for cover as they told voters what they
actually thought.

The Courage Test has been conducted each election year since 1992, when an
overwhelming number of candidates, weak with freedom’s sentimentality,
imprudently surrendered their positions on issue after issue at the request
of voters and test sponsors.

This year (after clobbering each candidate with questions on jobs, foreign
policy, the economy, education, the environment, immigration, and other
issues confronted by the nation) Courage Test organizers demonstrated that
this crop of candidates set a new standard for the kind of toughness and
duplicity that moves the nation forward at its current levels of civility,
reason and responsibility.

 A half century ago, no candidate was courageous enough or cunning enough to
avoid answering questions on major issues when confronted by citizens and
major media. Then candidates simply lacked the strength of character
necessary to turn away when confronted by principle.

Today candidates of both major parties march in lock step behind their
armies of consultants paving the road to election victory.  It isn’t just
this dashing crop of candidates that are showing their pluck, it is the
major parties too: Both parties have organized their battalions so
successfully that they can easily overwhelm citizens and media with nothing
more than a bucket full of poppycock, saving their most potent weapons in an
selfless effort to campaign on behalf of their opponents--clearly
delineating their opposite positions on everything from issues to their
personal habits.

With each election candidates lower the bar and now we find ourselves all
fighting in the dirt. This successful domination of citizens is a remarkable
achievement, particularly when the remedy of abundant, accurate, relevant
information is well within their grasp. For test results and the facts on
the candidates you will vote on visit

Richard Kimball
Project Vote Smart President