TRENTON, N.J., April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CandidateCheck, the nation's only background-screening service for political candidates, is offering free background checks to all candidates running for New Jersey state office this year. The independent, non-partisan firm will provide its services free of charge to all 270 registered primary candidates running for the state Senate and General Assembly.
"Political candidates in New Jersey, and nationwide, should demonstrate to voters that they are transparent and have nothing in their backgrounds to hide," said CandidateCheck Founder David Doud. "Starting today, New Jersey primary candidates can run background checks on themselves and verify their own resumes -- for free -- and then publish the results for voters to see."
Doud created CandidateCheck.com to build voters' trust in political candidates. Previously active in politics, Doud was surprised that, in today's information-rich world, voters could not find a source that provides impartial verification about the men and women running for public office.
"Studies indicate that 53% of jobs seekers have misleading information on their resumes. In the private sector, pre-employment background screening has become the norm. But in politics, formal background screening is not a part of our election process. Our democracy suffers as a result. It's not fair that voters are often kept in the dark when choosing their elected officials," Doud said.
At the local, state and federal levels, recent examples abound of candidates who fudged their backgrounds or failed to disclose relevant details about their pasts:
- In South Carolina, Alvin Greene won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Days later, the media reported that Greene was facing felony obscenity charges. He lost the general election in a landslide.
- In Delaware, Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The media disclosed that a mortgage company had obtained a judgment against her for $90,000, and that the IRS had filed a lien against her for $11,000 in back taxes and penalties. She lost the general election by a wide margin.
- In Maryland, a state lawmaker claimed on his official campaign bio that he had "played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys for 3 years." When a newspaper reporter questioned the claim, and the Cowboys denied it, the lawmaker acknowledged an "error on my campaign website."
CandidateCheck will provide New Jersey political candidates complete background checks including a 10-year criminal record search, 10-year civil record search, 10-year employment verification, a military records search, diploma verification, professional license verification and a national sex-offender registry search. The service, which typically markets for $295, will be provided free to any interested registered candidate. Candidates authorize the background check and will have an opportunity to review and dispute the results of their findings prior to public release. Voters will see a summary report of any candidate who completes the background check, at CandidateCheck.com.
CandidateCheck is powered by TalentWise, an industry leading employment-screening provider.
CandidateCheck is a non-partisan and non-biased online service that provides self-authorized background checks and resume verification for political candidates around the nation. It has built upon the best practices used by human resource professionals in the private sector to make a unique suite of screening tools available to candidates and their constituents. For more information, go to www.CandidateCheck.com.
TalentWise is an industry-leading consumer reporting agency focused on providing businesses, landlords and households with the information they need to make sound and legally compliant decisions. The company has earned recognition as a top ranked employment screening provider, serving over 3,000 businesses throughout North America. For more information about TalentWise, visit www.talentwise.com.