New Project Vote Smart findings congratulate Oregon for placing third among the 50 states on a ranking of Congressional candidates' willingness to take the group's Political Courage Test. Apparently, 63 percent of our state's contenders were amenable to sharing with voters their stances on key issues.
But hold that self-satisfied pat on the back.
A quick look at the roster of Congressional test-takers reveals that with a few notable exceptions (Democrat Jeff Merkley and the Republican incumbent senator he's trying to unseat, Gordon Smith) most of the Congressional hopefuls who completed the Political Courage Test are third-party candidates.
Among the AWOL: all four incumbent House members seeking re-election (Democrats David Wu, Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio as well as Republican Greg Walden), and the major-party contenders (Democrat Kurt Schrader and Republican Mike Erickson) vying to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.)
While we realize Oregon's third-party candidates are more willing to "risk" the hazards of answering questions about their views than major-party candidates freaking out that their answers could be twisted like pretzels, kudos to the third-party folks for getting the state up to third place.