Mum's the Word: Bill Richardson Opts Out Of Taking The Political Courage Test

Are presidential candidates, including Gov. Bill Richardson, becoming more cowardly? That seems to be the troubling trend, according to Project Vote Smart Media Director Mike Wessler.

Project Vote Smart is a nonprofit organization that asks politicians to take the Political Courage Test (PCT) every year. The test is really more like a survey that asks officeholders and those seeking office about their positions on several major issues, including abortion, education and healthcare. Test takers can choose from a range of policy choices or they can explain where they stand in their own words.

Although he took the PCT in 1996 when it was called the National Political Awareness Test, Gov. Richardson has declined to do so since. "Richardson's people told us some of the information that's asked for in the test is available on his campaign website but they said he would not take the test," Wessler says. Richardson's campaign office did not return calls for comment.

But the governor isn't alone in his refusal. Out of 17 presidential candidates in the Democratic and Republican parties receiving serious media attention, only John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel took the test.

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