Political campaigns: Getting to the truth - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Campaign '06

Political campaigns: Getting to the truth

Political campaigns:  Getting to the truth
By: Tiffany Sisson

The campaign for your vote come November is downright dirty in some races. Accusations of deception are being thrown like a one two punch. So, what's the real deal, and, how do you get to the truth?

The truth is, it's tough to get away from negative advertising. Every time you turn on your television, political candidates and interest groups turn up the heat. "Our remote is to zap that kind of stuff. When the negative ads come on, I turn the sound off," said Dr. Russell Renka, a professor of political science at Southeast University.

For 30 years, Renka has pored through countless sources of information about America's political system. When the campaign gets confusing, Renka keeps it simple. "Look for an animal. I look for an elephant or a donkey," explained Renka.

In other words, regardless of what the ads say pull information from the history of your favorite party line. "If I have a party connection, then I'll give the benefit to the doubt to the one in my party," said Renka.

Another source of information is Project Vote Smart. It's a web site that prides itself in being accurate, unbiased, and relevant. "I don't think there's any susceptible bias. The problem there though is that some people don't participate," explained Renka.

Debates are another good place to find the truth. "They see both candidates live, and under a certain amount of pressure to defend their position," said Renka.

Bottom line, you've got to do your homework. "I don't expect students to study for a test a month before the test. I expect them to bone up, just before it. So, I say, ok bone up just before the election," exclaimed Renka.

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