Conservative Christian Center Value Voter Guide Defended from inaccurate reporting
By Ross Cleveland, South Central PA Coordinator for Conservative Christian Center, York CCC Board Member (Ex-officio)
(Breaking News) The largest distribution of the “Value Voter Guide” in our ninth year (usually a primary and general election edition each year) resulted – twice – in an unprecedented email “blast” to GOP leaders criticizing Conservative Christian Center, by one candidate unhappy with the publication of their answers to our survey questions and the “C” rating she had earned by those answers. Note, there are no subjective grades – you either get 10 points because “yes” you go to church, or you get zero. You get 10 points if Ronald Reagan is your favorite President or you get zero if you chose Barack Obama.
That candidate so very critical of CCC for asking simple multiple choice questions of candidates for office and grading the answers is Allison Blew, at the time of her first attack, a candidate for the GOP nomination for Prothonotary in the May, 2019 primary.
Her first critical attack email went out during the primary to warn Republican leaders to stay away from the primary edition of the CCC “Value Voter Guide. Despite the attempt at suppression of our free speech rights, CCC has continued to distribute the Value Voter Guide as a general election edition, where she is now the GOP nominee for Prothonotary. She retaliated again for the low “C” grade she had earned by her answers, issuing a second critical email to GOP leaders.
Initially, CCC leaders were counseled by some advisers and politicos to simply ignore such negative criticism. However, after the 2nd such attack and the failure of responsible GOP leaders to curb the unfair and blatantly untrue claims against CCC, the foregoing was written as a point by point reply, written by Ross Cleveland, the CCC South Central Coordinator after his review of the facts at the York CCC Board meeting of Sunday, 10/27/19. Ross addressed the national board of directors meeting of CCC this past Sunday, which unanimously affirmed its support for his proposed actions – publishing here a rebuttal and expanding the circulation of the Value Voter Guide.
What follows are direct quotes from Allison Blew’s email blasts. While we have no desire to escalate or increase her anger towards us, on the other hand, the continuing circulation of false claims against CCC, if unrebutted, would give credence to her allegations and allow her to unfairly suppress an objective and fair source of information about the candidates on the ballot this Tuesday. Here then, are the words of Allison Blew and a rebuttal by CCC South Central PA Coordinator, Ross Cleveland.
Alison Blew Accusations and Rebuttals
Accusation #1: “I (Ms. Blew) believe they did not like the answers I gave, so they chose not to publish them.”
Rebuttal to #1: (1) Ms. Blew’s entire survey (and other candidates) is published on the CCC web site. Her responses are accurately posted in the Value Voter Guide brochure published during the primary and the general election and run in the York Daily Record newspaper on Friday, 11/1/19 on the back page. (2) Ms. Blew chose not to to answer four of the multiple-choice questions. In fact, she deleted the “multiple choice” options on the survey submitted to all candidates, in effect, altering our survey questionnaire. Nonetheless, we published what she sent in (see 5/20/19 blog post at our website). (3) Ms. Blew submitted several essay (one or more sentences) answers – none responsive to the questions. That’s the same as “no answer,” or “undecided,” or “wrong answer,” in our scoring. That’s what happens with multiple choice questions – there’s only one right answer.
Accusation #2: CCC will (states Ms. Blew) “pick winners and losers instead of assigning a rating based on true Christian values.”
Rebuttal to #2: (1) The rating guide is the same as the past 5 editions. We use the same scoring guide for all candidates. (2) Ms. Blew did not answer 4 questions, while her Democrat opponent did not answer 3 questions. Both received the same grade, even though the Democrat got less answers wrong and instead of criticizing CCC for the grade she had earned, she came and spoke to the CCC Candidate Forum and spoke eloquently about her faith and beliefs. She also attended and spoke at the summer “Heritage Fiesta” co-sponsored by Conservative Christian Center.
Accusation #3: Ms. Blew says that CCC should print her essay on the annual candidate scorecard explaining why she didn’t want to answer the survey questions.
Rebuttal #3: (1) There is no room on the candidate scorecard to allow for essays from candidates. There never has been. (2) If Blew wanted to submit an essay of why she didn’t want to answer the question, then she could have submitted that on her returned survey which is now published on the CCC web site. Whatever she wrote is there for all to see, without editing or change.
Accusation #4: Ms. Blew implies that she should not have to answer the survey questions. For example, Ms. Blew says: “The Prothonotary’s office does not have the ability to make laws, that’s the job of the legislative branch…”
Rebuttal #4: While it is true that none of the questions on the CCC survey pertain to the Prothonotary’s office, CCC is interested in asking questions that show any candidate’s political leaning in various areas. If Blew (and others) chose to not answer questions, then their score on the survey will be lowered. Yes they do have their First Amendment right to not answer, as we do have that Constitutional right to grade their responses and faithfully and accurately report those answers. Voters have a duty to vote for the candidate who best represents their own views. We simply report what the candidates told us, without censorship, favor or bias.
(we thank Ross Cleveland for writing the foregoing)
The Conservative Christian Center local York County and national boards voted unanimously to select a delegation to seek a meeting with Allison Blew to answer any further questions she has about the CCC Value Voter Guide and make sure that she understands she is not in any way a target of the organization and that no one at CCC bears her any ill will.
No candidate in nine years of our publishing such Voter Guides, has written as extensively about it as Ms. Allison Blew. We wish the local newspaper, radio and TV would report on this topic, although hopefully if they do, with more accuracy than what Ms. Blew has written twice that we know of.
In fact, had Ms. Blew been at the most recent “Candidate Forum,” everyone in attendance would have prayed for her together with all the candidates as is done at every such Candidate Forum in CCC and YCA’s history at the end of the meeting (as led magnificently, by Dr. Ken Gibson, CCC Adviser and York County Action Chairman Emeritus).
The delegation seeking a meeting with her will welcome the opportunity to pray for her success with her in person in the event she is successful on November 5.
We urge our readers to make use of the CCC Value Voter Guide to help them decide who to vote for this Tuesday, and pray they will choose the candidates for office who most closely match their beliefs. Perhaps it is considered “naïve” by some of the more experienced political operators and the “establishment GOP” but we believe issues, beliefs and faith, should help people choose who they want to represent them when they vote in elections. It is in our view, the essence of self-government.
Ross Cleveland is a Realtor in Cumberland County. A former schoolteacher, he has had ample opportunity to grade tests. Ross was on the board of the Cumberland Action and on its state board (Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation) and is the volunteer CCC Coordinator for the South Central PA region, and is also an ex-officio member of the board of York County Conservative Christian Center and its e-newsletter, York County Action. He is of the belief that the York County Value Voters Guide is the best ever published in Pennsylvania by any Action or CCC chapter and this year has reached its highest circulation.