Earlier this year, I wrote a post encouraging Democratic candidates to ignore the Arkansas Family Council’s Survey Questionnaire. Every election year, the Family Council sends a questionnaire to legislative, state and federal candidates and their responses are listed in their Voters Guide distributed across Arkansas.
In my opinion, the Arkansas Family Council is an unofficial arm of the Republic Party of Arkansas and its survey questions are slanted toward topics Republicans want every election to be about: school vouchers, same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.
Conveniently, there are no Democratically slanted questions: how to help the middle class, protect Medicaid, create good-paying jobs, improve public schools, how to grow Arkansas’s green economy, etc.
However, after viewing the Family Council’s Voter’s Guide online for the 2012 General Election, it appears legislative Democratic candidates have smartened up this year and are wisely ignoring the questionnaire.
By my count, 75% of Democratic legislative candidates in contested races did not complete the Family Council’s survey. I am assuming, of course, the Family Council continually updates their website so that my information is accurate. I’d also like to think Democratic candidates read my blog and got the message to ignore this survey.
A key point to remember, and I mentioned this in previous posts, if a voter wants to know a candidate’s position on any issue listed in the Family Council survey, then the candidate should answer the voter’s question.
The Family Council helpfully puts the phone numbers of non-responsive candidates on their surveys, so voters can call candidates directly for their stands on the issues. Candidates can ignore special interest groups, such as the Family Council, but they must always be directly responsive to voters and their questions.
In the end, the high refusal rate of Democratic legislative candidates crushes the credibility and effectiveness of the Family Council Voter’s Guide. With so many candidates ignoring the Family Council’s survey, hopefully the public, and some in the Arkansas media, will understand this questionnaire is a partisan survey, but all under the guise of non-partisanship.