For the same reason many folks go to CPAs and other tax professional this time of year. Things have gotten too complex and convoluted to get a clear picture without putting in a tremendous amount of personal time. The voters have come to understand one thing: you simply CANNOT trust a politician’s words. You can only trust their deeds and, by then, it’s too late. All the sources to investigate backgrounds, associations and finances are out there, but it takes several hours to check out EACH candidate- and there are a LOT of candidates in contested races this time. Many citizens feel informed about the the top of the ticket, but information about all but the first 2-3 offices is scattered at best. North Texas Tea Party volunteers- including people with a half-century of political experience, professional expertise in job candidate interview, financial analysis backgrounds, and MANY advanced degrees- put in over 1,000 volunteer hours on this task- and didn’t even get all the candidates analyzed that we would like to have.
So people want to turn to people whose opinions they trust for those lower ballot races, people who are willing to put in those very long hours to do the due diligence. People who are not perfect, but are thorough and conscientious. And they want as many opinions from such as they can get (the reason the multiple-group voting guides are VERY popular; especially when they DO show some small disagreements.)
And many established politicians HATE this. They know such analysis of their votes, associations, and contributions cannot be undone by speeches and empty promises, nor by cheery-picking isolated good votes from a sea of bad ones. Some established politicians do actually LOVE these vettings and voting guides; because they have TOTAL records they know their constituents will be proud of.
So what are the established politicians with the embarrassing records to do? They try to cast the people, groups and processes involved in such vetting in a bad light. They try to claim that endorsements from them are ‘bought’; they claim they are based on ‘personal agendas’ (While these established types take large sums of money from highly specialized lobbying groups/PACs interested in what they can get FROM government.). Both claims are patently false in all groups we include in our voter guides.
We simply won’t let such win the day. What we are trying to do is a public service- a service that many, many people seem to appreciate. And we will continue as long as we have the volunteers and resources to provide it, and the voters we deal with desire it. So find our online versions here; we hope you continue to find them as useful as thousands of your fellow citizens already have this cycle.