The Christian Coalition‘s fall voter guide landed in my email inbox today. As you might expect, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick and 8th District U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert were portrayed as more supportive on issues that matter to the coalition.
The coalition’s list of "key faith and family issues" includes gun restrictions, federal income tax rates, a balanced budget amendment and capital punishment, as well a ban on stem cell research and parental notification for abortions by minors.
The coalition’s assessment of where the candidates stand on embryonic stem cell research was a little muddy – and wrong. It showed the limitations of relying on voter guides from any interest group for accurate information.
The guide says McGavick’s position is "unclear," while Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell opposes a ban on such research. The guide says Reichert’s Democratic opponent, Darcy Burner, opposes a ban, but that Reichert favors a ban.
Reichert’s campaign says that’s not accurate. It’s true that Reichert opposed it in his 2004 campaign and voted against expanded funding for stem cell research in 2005. But in July, he voted – after what he described as much soul-searching – to override the president’s veto of a bill that would have funded more research.
At the time, McGavick said he, too, would have voted for expanded stem cell research. McGavick was the only one of the four candidates who returned the coalition’s survey. The coalition reported the positions of the other candidates based on "the public record."