I just attended my first “political” event, The Hotline Mid-Term Cram Session hosted by the National Journal. I’ve been to policy events before, but they’ve never been quite so political. Here, I heard the executive directors of the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee debate the executive directors of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. As you might expect, the Democratic leaders and Republican leaders disagreed on almost everything…except where the exciting races are being run.
There are several Senatorial races that should be watched closely, namely in Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Washington and California.
Because these are hotly contested races, I figured the leading candidates would want their constituents to know where they stand on important issues--to know what differentiates them from their opponent. So I went to the Your Candidates - Your Health website to see how the battling candidates feel on issues of great importance to many of us, health and research.
Guess how many of the candidates from the two major parties in those six states have responded to the survey. None. And only 8 of the 36 total candidates in those states have responses available. That’s right, the voters in those states have to make a very important decision without necessary information.
Scientific research has a major impact on everyone’s daily life. The way we understand and treat disease is rapidly evolving, thanks to major advances facilitated by research. More importantly, though, research improves the economy in addition to health.
Then why is it that, aside from whether someone voted for or against the healthcare reform law, do we know very little about how our candidates feel about science and technology? The members of the 112th Congress will shape how research is done in this country, which will have a huge impact on the health of the nation. That is why we need to know where our candidates stand.
Visit the site to see what your candidates think. Let them know that these topics are significant to you and our country, and urge them to answer the questions if they haven’t already.