Lack of courage or just too busy campaigning?

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By Carol A. Clark

The record shows only a small number of New Mexico candidates have taken the 2008 Primary Political Courage Test developed by the national non-partisan organization Project Vote Smart.

As of May 8, 11 percent of the state’s primary candidates for state Legislature, 21 percent of the state’s primary candidates for Congress and none of the candidates for U.S. Senate were willing to answer questions on the issues of top concern to New Mexico voters, reported Vote Smart.

Questions regarding the employment of undocumented immigrants, the death penalty, access to health care, gun possession licensing and the REAL ID Act are included in the test, which was administered to every presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative candidate willing to place their positions on the record.

The candidates are repetitiously asked one central question: “Are you willing to tell citizens your positions on the issues you will most likely face on their behalf?”

The test was 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, according to Project Vote Smart’s website.

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