August 24 , 2010
The League partnered with Common Cause in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign in calling on candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and state Legislature (Assembly and Senate) to state their positions on specific reforms designed to reduce the influence of special interests in elections and to promote a fair and transparent process for drawing legislative district lines in 2011.
Almost 60 percent of state legislative candidates declined the opportunity to take a stand on these issues through the League’s questionnaire. Of the 41 candidates for state senate, 14 replied. Of the 270 candidates for state assembly, 120 replied to the survey. Of those who responded, 11 refused to answer the questions. Five of seven gubernatorial candidates responded (all except Timothy John and Scott Walker), as did six of 10 candidates for Lieutenant Governor. The League also sent questionnaires to candidates for U.S. Senate and Wisconsin’s eight seats in the House of Representatives. Three of five candidates for U.S. Senator responded (all but Stephen Finn and David Westlake).
“The voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on the issues,” said Andrea Kaminski, director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Fund. “Getting more than 40 percent of the candidates to respond is an improvement over 2008, when only a third responded. However, 177 candidates failed to respond and are leaving citizens in the dark.”
The League will open the online questionnaire up to candidates again for one week in mid-September, following the primary election. At that time, candidates who have responded will have the opportunity to edit their answers and those who have not responded will have a second chance to do so.