BIPEC: Helping politicians feel the heat
Members of the Business and Industry Political Education Committee have an interesting way of looking at elections. As, first, business representatives accustomed do doing research and development work before rolling out a new product, they look at candidates as an investment.
You would not sink money into a mutual fund, for example, without checking out its performance record. Why should you offer financial support to a political candidate without first checking out his performance record?
BIPEC seeks to educate its members on which incumbent or candidate best represents the sides of issues important to them. They seek candidates, or incumbents, who can demonstrate attention to their needs, who will work to solve real world problems. They use a sophisticated database of information, opinion surveys and voting histories to determine whether a candidate deserves their support. They analyze the districts from which a candidate runs to assess whether the candidate is in touch with his district or not.
They pay for the privilege of obtaining and using this information.
As BIPEC president Dick Wilcox pointed out to The Meridian Star the other day, many state legislators and judges detest the ratings and evaluations given them. BIPEC has been analyzing candidates and elections for 20 years, so it might be better for individual candidates if they simply got over it.
BIPEC serves a valuable purpose in a political world where accountability is all too hard to place. Politicians are pretty clever when it comes to disguising how they really feel about an issue, or covering their bases with procedural votes that make their positions hard to determine.
BIPEC's process delves much more deeply into the underlying philosophy and motivations which stir the hearts of politicians, thus making it harder for them to get away from the heat.