Candidates avoid issues survey |

Candidates avoid issues survey

Nevada County representatives up for re-election have refused to share their political viewpoints with Project Vote Smart, a nonpartisan library of biographical and political history of legislative candidates.

And it is not the first time candidates have refused, according to the organization.

Congressman John Doolittle, R-Roseville, and Assemblyman Rick Keene, R-Chico, refused on two occasions when asked by political party leaders as well as Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball, according to the organization’s Web site.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was the area’s only legislative candidate to fill out the issues survey.

“These gentlemen work for us, the citizens of the United States, and it’s very disappointing that they continue to refuse to state their positions on the most basic issues that are important to voters,” said Susan Rogers, chair of a local coalition of nonprofits and media organizations bringing Kimball to speak at the Grass Valley United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m., March 1.

The purpose of the National Political Awareness Test is to measure a candidate’s willingness to provide voters with his or her inclinations on issues he or she will most likely face on the citizens’ behalf, according to the Vote Smart site.

The survey is administered to all candidates for presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, and state legislative offices. It asks candidates to indicate their positions on a wide variety of issues including abortion, budget and spending, the environment, education, health care, immigration, gun control and foreign policy.

Presidential candidates have a mixed record of responding. Democratic candidate John Kerry refuses to state his positions, as do President Bush and newly declared independent candidate Ralph Nader. Candidates Sen. John Edwards, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and the Rev. Al Sharpton have completed the test.

The offices of all five state and federal offices representing Nevada County have been contacted and asked to send a representative to the local Project Vote Smart Event March 1.

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