Thursday, September 14, 2006

Taking a pass

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2006 at 5:33 AM

Stephens Media notes that statewide Democratic candidates are taking a pass on the Family Council's survey, now online.

Democratic Congressmen Vic Snyder and Mike Ross have responded and Jerry Cox of the Family Council told me yesterday that Rep. Marion Berry and Third District candidate Woody Anderson had said they would respond. Theirs is the better response, particularly than the lame excuse from the statewide candidates that they don't have time.

This is a conservative interest group survey designed to draw out candidates on hot-button issues. Alas, they are issues that inevitably will arise in the legislature. You can run, but you can't hide from them. The survey has been improved a bit over the years. Candidates no longer are limited to yes/no answers to sometimes overly simplistic questions. Answers up to 150 words are allowed both in the on-line and printed surveys.

PS -- If candidates truly are overwhelmed by multiple surveys, there's perhaps a small argument that some can be bypassed. One political candidate told me that he didn't respond because he thought it gave a fringe group a legitimacy it didn't deserve. That's a fair point, I think. Who is "entitled" to receive responses from candidates? No candidate appears willing to say that for the record, however. There are some nonpartisan research groups at work that compile issue information. Project Vote Smart comes to mind. Candidates who answer those surveys fully (and they often include hot-button questions, too) then have plenty of leeway to avoid the surveys of special interest groups.

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