PNS Daily Newscast - January 17, 2020 

Govt. Accountability Office rules that Trump administration violated federal law on aid to Ukraine; and racial disparities in health care.

2020Talks - January 17, 2020 

Just a couple weeks out from the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, four Senators are being pulled off the campaign trail for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

“Self-Defense” for Tennessee Voters

January 7, 2008

Nashville, TN – Politicians may find it a little harder to hide from the tough questions in Tennessee this week. A group that has spent years collecting voting records, speech transcripts and campaign donation details on candidates and elected officials is offering public access to them, free of charge.

Richard Kimball of Project Vote Smart says the group is calling its database a "voter self-defense" system. Most candidates and elected leaders in Tennessee, however, refused to answer when the group sent out questionnaires about where they stand on the issues.

"It's not that Democrats are more likely to answer, or Republicans are more likely to answer, they're both sort-of in lockstep with each other, trying to control the messages."

Kimball says even those candidates who don't volunteer information leave "paper trails" that can be useful in determining their stances on issues. His group searches such records as speeches and special interest group rankings. Former Presidents Carter and Ford, as well as Senator John McCain, helped start the project.

Kimball says it's clear that money has grown to be the dominating factor in politics, which he believes discourages the next generation of the best leaders to run for office.

"They know if they don't collect all this money, they don't do these silly commercials and attack their opponents, that they're not going to win. So, they don't run anymore."

To find out more about the candidates in your area, visit the Project Vote Smart Website at

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - TN