Las Cruces, NM – As television's role has grown in political campaigns political observers say image can often trump substance. This appears to be especially true in New Mexico. KRWG's Michael Olson highlights the difficulty of a non-partisan organization to get straight answers from people seeking political office.
If Project Vote Smart was a TV character it might be Dragnet's Joe Friday. Their just-the-facts approach to politics has drawn partisans like Barry Goldwater and Walter Mondale to serve on their board of directors. Currently Newt Gingrich and Geraldine Ferraro have combined efforts with Project Vote Smart to get political candidates to state their positions.
Vote Smart's Ted Lawless says candidates are telling voters less information about themselves every election cycle.
The project started in 1996. That year nearly of congressional candidates complied with Vote Smart's request to outline their positions on the pressing issues of the day. In 2002 only half of Congressional Candidates agreed.
New Mexico Candidates were exceptionally obscure in 2002 with only 11% providing clear positions to voters.