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Voting History

September 21, 2007

The websites of the presidential candidates on both sides of the political spectrum are loaded to the gills with flowery descriptions and passionate videos of the men and women championing their beliefs and promising change of all shapes and sizes. What those websites don’t have however, is the candidates voting history.

Hillary Clinton’s site, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/, is quick to boast of her lifelong commitment to “strong advocacy for children,” but says little in all the flowery prose of what she’s actually done. Some description is provided, but there is little in the way of substantive information, and almost nothing of what Clinton has and has not voted for during her time in the United States Senate.

The same appears to be true of every other candidate’s site. Fred Thompson’s site, http://fredfile.fred08.com/, posts a number of video blogs by the former Senator. One such video is his address of the problems and decaying state of medicare, for which he speaks of the need for reform, but seems uninterested in giving any explanation of how or what kind. The closest it got to his voting record was that, had he been in the Senate in 2003, he would have voted against the medicare bill.

A lot of useful information appears on the candidates sites, it’s true. Also true is the fact that a candidate’s voting record is easily accessible. But the public deserves more than canned answers and vague descriptions of how the candidates feel.

Those who’ve served in the Congress, which is the bulk of candidates, should have their voting histories and an explanation for why the voted how they did on each and every bill should be readily available on every website. Instead, we get half truths and vague promises on sites like that of Mike Huckabee, http://www.mikehuckabee.com/, and John Edwards http://johnedwards.com/. We should also have readily available a full list of what bills governors and former governors running for the presidency have vetoed and made other actions on. The candidates should have nothing to hide, instead they should embrace their voting history, give their justifications, it is essential to the public’s understanding of how the candidates feel.

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