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01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total  per-capita costs]

01.14 Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets To 20 Gigawatts By 2023 & 40 Gigawatts By 2030

01.14 Solar + Storage Half The Cost Of Gas Peaker Plants — 8MinuteEnergy

01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]

01.14 Air pollution 'as bad as smoking in increasing risk of miscarriage'

01.09 Dutch eco initiative halves energy bills in first UK homes

01.09 'It's a nightmare': Americans' health at risk as shutdown slashes EPA

01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]

01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less  Great Again]

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01.18 “Are We Really Where We Are?”: Trump, Putin, and Washington’s Unbelievable New Normal

01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]

01.18 The Right’s Case Against Soaking the Rich Is Dirt Poor

01.18 Trump Worsens the Border Crisis

01.18 Impeach Donald Trump

01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]

01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Bill Maher: If We Don’t Impeach President Donald Trump, Where Is The Bar? [9:49 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 With US 'Drilling Towards Disaster,' Report Warns Anything Less Than Urgent Green New Deal Will Be 'Too Little, Too Late' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Trump plans to relax Obama rules for oil companies put in place after BP disaster [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Trump's war on science: how the US is putting politics above evidence [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]

01.16 Can Philadelphia 'stop people from dying' as drug crisis and gun violence rage on? [Whole country suffers from lack of effective federal policies... Seeing a pattern? P.S.: The answer is not a Wall!]

01.16 Why are more Americans than ever dying from drug overdoses? [graphs]

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01.15 The US apparently kept no detailed notes of Trump-Putin meetings for the past 2 years

01.15 California’s largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change.

12.28 Mueller closes in: what will the Trump-Russia inquiry deliver in 2019?

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01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]

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01.17 +++ Brexit crisis: Germany and Europe react — live updates +++

01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]

01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]

01.16 How Governments React to Climate Change: An Interview with the Political Theorists Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann

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  Print view: Here's a Tool to Assess Candidates' Stands
POLITICS:

Here's a Tool to Assess Candidates' Stands

SOURCE: Project VoteSmart
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
“It is easier to catch a greased pig than it is to catch a candidate with a straight answer to a straight question,” says Richard Kimball, president of VoteSmart.

Project VoteSmart, a nonpartisan public service organization dedicated to ferreting out the voting records and political stances of candidates for public office, has added a new feature to its website. Called "VoteEasy," this interactive research system gives voters instant confirmation on which congressional candidates agree with their own positions on the issues.

Project VoteSmart developed VoteEasy because the organization has found that few candidates dared to respond to the detailed Political Courage Test VoteSmart has developed to assess candidates' stands. For example, neither Andrew Harris (R.) nor Frank Kratovil (D.), opponents in the hotly contested Maryland First District race, has responded to the test.

This lack of responsivenesss is encountered frequently, according to VoteSmart officials. Candidates are often loathe to go on the record, for fear their viewpoints will be distorted or their unpopular stances will be exposed. To counter the lack of complete information available to voters, over the past year Vote Smart researchers have spent thousands of hours detailing each candidate’s political history (reviewing their votes, public statements, backgrounds and actions), thereby determining their positions even when they refused to answer the same questions put to them by Vote Smart (not to mention the national media) in the National Political Courage Test. These positions can be ascertained in the VoteEasy online feature, with candidates' stands verified by their own words and public records.

“This is fact checking on a massive scale and it is not popular with either major party,” said Richard Kimball, Vote Smart President. “It is easier to catch a greased pig than it is to catch a candidate with a straight answer to a straight question,” he said. “In fact, one Democratic congressional campaign told us the DCCC would withhold their campaign funds if they provided Vote Smart with answers, while the RNCC had one of their attorneys contact us and threaten legal action if we did not remove their candidates’ positions on the issues.”

Using VoteEasy is simple. Voters in any state just visit the VoteSmart website, go to the VoteEasy panel, and type in their zip code. They answer the same key issue questions their congressional candidates were asked by Vote Smart staff and national media. Then they can watch the candidates’ images on yard signs "squirm" as they advance and recede relative to how their views align with those of the voter. Clicking on a candidate's yard sign picture will reveal that candidate's record and background.

“We are turning opposition research on its head to serve the will of each voter," claimed Kimball. "Candidates who think our research is in error are welcome and encouraged to exchange their own answers for ours on VoteEasy."


Project VoteSmart: An Extraordinary Organization That Has Some Extraordinary Rules
  1. No one can join the Project's board without a political opposite. People as diverse as former Presidents Carter and Ford, former Senators McGovern and Goldwater, former Governor Dukakis, former Congresswoman Ferraro and current Senator McCain have served on the Project's board, supporting the efforts of the Project's students and volunteers, and ensuring balance and strict impartiality in PVS programs and services.
  2. The Project refuses financial assistance from all organizations and special interest groups that lobby or support or oppose any candidate or issue.
  3. The Project operates much like the Peace Corps -- of the over 5000 people who have come to help by working at the Project, ninety percent received no pay and those who did received only minimal salaries to cover basic living expenses.
  4. Unlike other organizations, the Project strictly protects its members and supporters. We never sell or provide names, addresses, or other contact information of any supporter or contributor to anyone, at any time, for any reason.

VoteSmart's republications in the Baltimore Chronicle have permission of the organization.



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Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on October 13, 2010.
 

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