Who’s Afraid of an Informed Electorate?

| 4/24/2008 5:23:17 PM

The Project Vote Smart is a non-partisan clearinghouse of information on almost every major elected official in the United States. Their Presidential Political Courage Test is a four page questionnaire covering everything from budget issues to social issues to legislative priorities. It’s designed to inform the electorate on what’s important to presidential candidates, but none of the three major candidates have filled it out. Jim Nintzel reports for the Tuscon Weekly that John McCain was even on the board of Project Vote Smart until April 9, when he was kicked off for not filling out the test.

The reason why everyone is running away from the test is because it’s a veritable treasure trove of source material for attack ads. In an electoral climate when spinmeisters have been known to rifle through candidates 3rd grade papers, information on real issues can be toxic. The folks at Project Vote Smart aren’t that worried, though. The Presidential Courage Test—once known as the National Political Awareness Test before scared politicians started hiding from it—is just one weapon in their arsenal, bringing accurate information to the public. Founder and president of the organization Richard Kimball said, “We've become so good at this stuff that we don't need (politicians') cooperation to get the goods on them.”

Bennett Gordon


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