Project Vote Smart released the 2008 Illinois and Maryland Political Courage Test results today showing that only seven percent of the Illinois' primary candidates for State Legislature and fifteen percent of the state's primary candidates for Congress were willing to answer questions on the issues that are of top concern to Illinois voters, such as questions regarding hate crime legislation, the employment of undocumented immigrants, the possible constitutional convention, the death penalty, access to health care and the licensing of gun possession. Maryland candidates were slightly more willing to give voters information about their positions on issues that are critical to voters. Twenty-six percent of candidates for Congress were willing to give voters this information.
Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart's President, said that national response rates for federal and state candidates have fallen dramatically over the last three elections.
The Political Courage Test asks all candidates one central question: "Are you willing to tell citizens your positions on the issues you will most likely face on their behalf?" It is conducted nationally over the last 12 months of each election season. Illinois legislative and Congressional candidates were contacted repeatedly over three weeks and asked by prominent leaders of both major parties and by Project staff, if they were willing to provide their issue inclinations in the public interest.
Candidates advancing to the general election will have the opportunity to respond to the test again, when tested later this year.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Ask your candidates to take the Political Courage Test at Project Vote Smart - SendMeRSS
Project Vote Smart releases a "Political Courage Test" every election season for all state and congressional candidates. There has been a decline in usage, as many candidates are afraid that it will restrict their campaign message and open themselves up for opposition research. This test covers a wide variety of issues for the voter to study and compare candidates with; it has been created, designed, and drafted by more than 200 of the nation's most prominent journalists, political scientists, and leaders of the major and third political parties.
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