Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Minor Musing On Politician's Transparency

I am not unsympathetic to Bob Mercer's assertion that groups that grade states on transparency are often insufficiently transparent.

That being said, far too many South Dakota leaders who run for both statewide and local office seem to want to avoid being open about their views. For example, Governor Daugaard refused to answer Project Vote Smart  issue based questions when .he ran in 2010. He apparently last answered questions in 2000. Kristi Noem refused to respond to Project Vote Smart in 2012.  John Thune got a pass on the questionnaire.

Locally, Bernie Hunhoff, Jean Hunhoff, and Mike Stevens all refused to answer the 2012 questionnaire. Both Bernie Hunhoff and Jean Hunoff responded in 2010. Project Vote Smart is guilty of some hyperbole when then allege that state legislative candidates received "repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders." I doubt any national media contacted these politicians.

In an example of the trickle down effect, local candidates have traditionally answered a Yankton Press & Dakotan questionnaire. a local school board candidate also refused to record his stand for voters. Butch Becker's positions can be found here. Sarah Carda's stands can be found here. Jim Fitzgerald's views can be found here. The P&D reports that a fourth candidate would not respond:
Yankton school board candidate Wayne Wurth did not repond to our request to participate in our profile series on the four candidates running for the board in the April 9 election.
South Dakota state government may or may not be becoming more transparent, but many candidates at all levels certainly could do more to let voters know where they stand.

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