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Press Release

Taxpayer Group's Database Tracks Hundreds of Congressional Candidates' Stances on Fiscal Issues

For Immediate Release October 28, 2008
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

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(Alexandria, VA) -- If they're running, they shouldn't be hiding -- that's the philosophy behind the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union's (NTU) Survey of Congressional Candidates, a detailed questionnaire of office-seekers on fiscal issues whose results are online at

NTU has polled Congressional hopefuls for 20 years, but in recent election cycles, the group has been able to offer an increasingly comprehensive database that is useful for members of the public as well as the media. The 2008 NTU Survey of Congressional Candidates consisted of 14 questions (some with numerous subparts), including:

  • Support for continuing soon-to-expire tax relief measures such as the low capital gains rate and repeal of the death tax (to take effect only for the year 2010);
  • Enactment of Balanced Budget and Tax Limitation Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, both of whose provisions are outlined in detail;
  • Support for a freeze on domestic discretionary federal spending; and
  • Opposition to federal policies that would permit states to tax Internet access, or to compel vendors to collect taxes on out-of-state sales.

Three more questions have been added to this year's Survey in recognition of increased public concern over issues such as the financial status of the Medicare system to the practice of "earmarking" bills with special-interest spending items.

The 2008 NTU Survey database is searchable by state, chamber, Congressional district, candidate's last name, or political party. All candidates appearing on official state ballots are listed, including those who failed or declined to respond. The Survey results will be updated continuously.

The Survey findings have also proven to be of great value long after the election. NTU's lobbying team has used them in the past to seek sponsors for legislation, compile "whip lists" for pending votes, and publicize the commitments Members of Congress have made. For this reason, Survey databases from past election cycles remain accessible on the NTU Web site.

"Taxpayers deserve straight answers from Congressional hopefuls, and in order to get them we must ask equally straightforward questions," said NTU President Duane Parde. "No other candidate questionnaire can match NTU's for the breadth and depth of responses to key issues like tax cuts, tax system reform, spending restraints, and debt reduction."

NTU is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and more accountability from elected officials. Note: To view NTU Survey questions and responses, visit