Spin Control

Vote Smart guide on line

One more tool for the voter trying to figure out how to mark a ballot for president:

Project Vote Smart has released its Voters Self Defense Manual for 2012, which features the stances of the five most common presidential candidates -- Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, of course, along with Libertarian Gary Johnson, Constitution Party's Virgil Goode and Green Party's Jill Stein -- on 20 issue questions.

The group sends questionnaires to candidates and lists them as "has political courage" if they answer. If not, they check public statements and other records to infer the answers, and lists them as having "no political courage."

That rating system seems a bit over the top, but the guide has plenty of information. It also lists key votes of members of Congress, along with their ratings from different interest groups. Check it out by clicking here.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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