Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, sent out this rather interesting note today: “In anticipation that the Project Vote Smart staff will soon be slamming me for not responding to their survey, I’m sending my explanation as to why I did not respond to them or any surveys this year.” Here’s her explanation:
Re: Project Vote Smart
I want you to know my reason for not responding to the Project Vote Smart questionnaire.
Each election cycle candidates for legislative office receive many many questionnaires from special interest groups. This year, I have had about 50 in my mailbox. This year I’ve elected not to respond to any of them. While some are sincere in their requests for information, most are at best slanted with loaded questions designed to entrap the candidate and at worst could be construed to be a contractual agreement when a candidate is required to sign a statement locking them into the answers without consideration for the future which might include new information or changes in circumstances.
Project Vote Smart (PVS) is from out of state, and represents no Idaho individual or company. If it does, that has not been represented. PVS’s questionnaire contains loaded questions. PVS’s staff use intimidation and harassment tactics to get candidates to respond that were they a credit collection company they would be prohibited by law from using.
In the ten years I have been honored to be the State Senator for our area I have built a strong track record of being accessible to any one and any group within my legislative district. I respond to my phone calls, my letters, my e-mail, I speak to constituents at the bank, the Post Office, the grocery store, the gas station, at restaurants when I’m with my family, on the beach, at soccer games - in short anywhere, virtually anytime. I also sit down with members of the press at election time and answer all their questions plus make my self available to the press virtually 24/7 year round.
I give my time willingly and consider it my responsibility and duty for the honor of being State Senator. Responding to 50 surveys, many of them multiple pages requiring essays on issues and from out of area or out of state organizations, takes time away from the people in my district and their needs. I was elected to serve the people in my legislative district. It is to them that I respond: yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Thank you for the opportunity to explain my position.
Idaho State Senator
District One: Boundary and Bonner Counties