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Questions unanswered Effort to assist and educate voters draws little response from candidates

So much mud. So little courage.

Candidates for Congress and the New York State Legislature were offered a clear opportunity to make their own positions on a variety of important issues clear to the voters. Not to slime their opponents, but to set out, in bracing specifics, what they would do about a range of matters. Project Vote Smart -- at www.votesmart.org -- asked the questions and posted the answers, at no cost to the candidates.

But, for all but a few of the New Yorkers running for legislative office, it was apparently more important to fling mud.

In Western New York, the only candidates for Congress who took Project Vote Smart's Political Courage Test were Reps. Louise Slaughter and Brian Higgins and Harold Schroeder, the Conservative Party challenger to Higgins.

In state legislative races, political courage was also rare. Those who rose to the challenge were Christopher H. Schaeffer, Paula M. Banks-Dahlke, Jane L. Corwin, Shelia Ferrentino and Patrick H. Eaton.

Apparently, there's no political percentage in courage.

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