Most are gutless

A few days ago we told you our political candidates were facing a deadline to complete Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test, a non-partisan survey of their positions on key issues in this elections cycle. And we said we’d name names for those gutless candidates who don’t want the voters to know what they think about issues. PVS folks tell us the most common reasons candidates don’t respond is because their parties and their consultants don’t want them on the record because their opponents might use the information to campaign against them. So the advice is to ignore surveys of their positions and stick to the proven one or two message points that seem to have the most favorable response from voters.

Would you think that approach shows political courage?

Project Vote Smart thinks not.

For candidates that don’t answer the survey, PVS has had scads of researchers looking at voting records and public statements that will allow PVS to INFER candidates’ positions on the issues. Of course the candidates can make corrections if they think the inferences are wrong.

If you want to look up whether candidates in your district answered the surveys and what their answers are (or PVS’ inferences) go to the Project Vote Smart Website, Here are some of the responses from campaigns around the country.


To cut to the chase:

PVS reports only 43% of the Missouri candidates for Congress and only 13% of the candidates for state legislative seats “were willing to tell voters where they stand on key issues facing the nation.” (Those are PVS’s words.) Most of those who responded were third party candidates. Only two incumbent Congressmen responded.

So herewith is our Guts & Gutless list.

GUTS: U.S. Senate

  • Jerry Beck, Constitution

GUTLESS U. S. Senate

  • Roy Blunt, Republican
  • Robin Carnahan, Democrat
  • Jonathan Dine, Libertarian.

GUTS: U. S. House (District listed after name)

  • William L. Clay, Democrat (incumbent) 1
  • Robyn Hamlin, Republican 1
  • Arthur Lieber, Democrat 2
  • Steve Mosbacher, Libertarian 2
  • Nicholas Ivanovich, Constitution 3
  • Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat (incumbent) 5
  • Dave Lay, Constitution 5
  • Clinton Hylton, Democrat 6
  • Kevin Craig, Libertarian 7
  • Rick Vandeven, Libertarian 8
  • Christopher Dwyler, Libertarian 9
  • PVS lists Libertarian Jason Braun (4) and Independent Bill Lawrence (8) as “pending.”


  • The other 19 candidates for Congress including eight incumbents..

GUTS Missouri State Senate

  • Bob Ludlow, Libertarian 19
  • George Weber, Democrat 26
  • PVS lsits Independent Nick Gargeios (4) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (14) as “pending.”

GUTLESS Missouri State Senate

  • The other 27 candidates including six incumbents.
  • Three of the 27 candidates are without opposition in November: Mike Kehoe (6), Ronald Richard (32), and incumbent Brad Lager (12)

GUTS Missouri State House

  • Gary Murray, Constitution 5
  • Dale Toms, Democrat 7
  • Michael Clynch, Republican 11
  • Chuck Gatschenberger, Republican 13
  • Debbie Bixler, Democrat 16
  • LaurieNauser, Republican 24
  • Delus Johnson, Republican 28
  • William Caldwell, Democrat 29
  • Kevin Kobe, Libertarian 51
  • Jeffrey Workman, Republican 51
  • Jeanette Mott Oxford, Democrat 59
  • Tommie Pierson, Democrat, 69
  • Stacey Newman, Democrat 73
  • Glen Lindermann, Republican 78
  • William Spaits, Constitution 79
  • Don Gosen, Republican 84
  • Cloria Brown, Republican 85
  • Alice Geary Sgrol, Democrat 95
  • Daniel Fitzhenry, Constitution 97
  • Jan Polizzi, Democrat 97
  • Randall Lewis, Constitution 100
  • Richard Blowers, Constitution 102
  • Joseph Fallert, Democrat 104
  • Ray Herron, Constitution 116
  • Raymond Kish, Constitution 119
  • Richard Hoxsey, Constitution 120
  • William Truman Wayne, Libertarian 121
  • Eric Burlison, Republican 136
  • Devon Cheek, Democrat 136
  • Teddy Michael Fleck, Libertarian 140
  • Michael Chipman, Independent 141
  • Ron Yarbro, Democrat 154
  • John Page, Democrat 155
  • Ron McCormick, Republican 161

Three are listed as “pending”: Charles Smith, Independent (90); Randy Dinwiddie, Independent (115); Steven Reed, Independent (138)
Candidate Bill Slantz, Libertarian (15) is shown by PVS as answering only 9% of the questions. GUTLESS Missouri State House

  • 247 candidates, 57 of whom are unopposed in November.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email