Candidates Evaluated for the 2010 General Election
Most of the candidates appearing on the Nov. 2, 2010 General Election ballot in those districts covered by Lehigh andNorthampton counties are included in this report. Specifically,all state-wide candidates, i.e., all those running for the PAoffices of US Senate, US Congress-15th District, and for governor are included, as are all the candidates for the PA Senateand the PA General Assembly.
There were two questionnaires sent out to all candidates, a longcomprehensive questionnaire and an abbreviated one morerecently sent out to those candidates who did not return the original questionnaire. Those who have still not returned eitherquestionnaire are duly noted on the response sheets. Also notedis the candidate’s willingness to sign our constitutionalpledge and our set of fiscal resolutions. Refusal to complete the questionnaire or sign the pledge or resolution is regarded asa serious omission since these candidates are asking for our vote to represent us in Washington or Harrisburg and choosenot to provide us with any indication as to where they stand on the critical issues confronting us today. Those with a state-wide constituency might be somewhat excused because of the innumerable requests they receive for such information,especially if they have made the effort to present themselves tothe Lehigh Valley voters at our two recent Candidate Forums(as did Attorney General Tom Corbett, Jake Towne, and Congressman Charlie Dent).The evaluations in this report are expressed in terms of the issues listed in the short questionnaire (see above) and wherepossible on third-party ratings and the incumbent’s voting record. Obviously, not all candidates have the same amount ofinformation available about their public positions and, in that sense, it is harder for a long-time incumbent to answer aquestion in a manner that is contrary to what the public record would indicate. Where there is sufficient data to suggest adifference, both answers have been noted. As additional input is received and new data becomes available, theseevaluations will be adjusted accordingly. THESE CANDIDATE EVALUATIONS SHOULD BE REGARDED AS A WORK INPROGRESS. Revised reports will be issued as such additional data warrants.
-answer is based on the candidate’s response to our questionnaire-
-answer is based on 3rd party ratings and voting record-
–answer is based on public statement
-research indicates the candidate took differing positions on the issue-
-candidate has not yet taken a position on the issue-
-candidate has “Declined to Answer”by either not returning the questionnaire or by simply skippingthe question-
-information “Not Available”
(Let the Reader Beware)
This analysis is a subjective process bolstered as much as possible by fact or, at least, evidenced-based indicators. Thecandidates’answers to the questions are what they are, and ideally truly indicate the political philosophy the candidate bringsto the issue in question. The strength of the validity of the answers based on our research varies with each candidate andeven among the different issues within each candidate’s responses. We urge you to focus more on the pattern of responsesrather than any specific answer, and for those candidates for whom you are seriously considering to represent you, pleaseconfirm your judgment with your own research on the merits of each candidate.