Public Policy, Party, and Candidate Sites
There are many party sites within the Democratic and Republican sites. I will cover the official Democratic, Republican, and Reform Party Web sites.
The Democratic National Committee is the official Web site for the Democratic Party. The site has eight different sections that include a “Newsroom,” “DNC Action Center,” “Voter Outreach,” “Party Headquarters,” “Democratic Record,” “The Democratic Web,” and “Support the DNC.” All of the sections are also available in Spanish. Other features include “News Highlights,” “GOPWatch 2000,” “DNC Poll,” and “Campaign 2000.” The “Newsroom” contains links to “DNC News,” “GOP Candidate News,” “Press Releases,” and “Special Bulletins.”
“The DNC Action Center” provides access to state Democratic Party Web sites, Democratic elected officials, campaigns, and previous elections. In addition, there are links to state voter registration sites. “Voter Outreach” is a list of ethnic and social groups targeted by the DNC for inclusion into the Democratic community. Clicking on one of the groups reveals press releases, newsletters, recent bulletins, and other resources describing the relationship between the Democratic Party and the particular social and/or ethnic group.
“Party Headquarters” provides information about the DNC leadership, history, and resources. The “Democratic Record” provides access to DNC platform statements, party position papers, and accomplishments. The “Democratic Web” offers links to party committee Web sites, state party Web sites, and county party Web sites. The last section — “Support the DNC” — allows individuals to support the party by donating money via check or credit card.
One personal reaction:
This site seems to spend a great deal of real estate talking about the
Grand Old Party. Do they really need to spend this much time and space
dealing with the Republicans and Republican presidential candidates? The
site seemed to lack substantial discussion of issues from the Democratic
Party’s view and the different Democratic candidates’ positions.
The Republican National Committee is the official site of the Republican Party. Here you will find news, “Online Activist,” “Key Issues,” “GOP directory,” coalitions, “GOP Interactive,” and history of the Republican Party. The “Newsroom” contains the latest news and news releases, talking points, commentary on Democratic presidential candidates, and a media kit. The “Online Activist” is designed to help citizens get involved in the political process by donating money to the RNC, sending a postcard, sending a letter to an editor, registering to vote, receiving updates, and gifts from the RNC. “GPO Interactive” provides access to the different forms of GOP media — GOP TV, GOP radio, video, photo, and audio libraries. “Key Issues” include reports and position papers on social security, education, taxes, environment, defense/national security, and party switchers. “GOP Directory” is a collection of databases that you can search for federal elected officials, state elected officials, GOP candidates, state parties, and allied organizations.
The RNC Web site,
like its Democratic counterpart, spends a good deal of its real estate
attacking the Democrats and their candidates. If you want to see the world
according to the Republicans, this is a good place to start.
The Reform Party, established in 1995 by Ross Perot, has gained more attention in the news with the election of Jesse Ventura, governor of Minnesota, and the defection of Pat Buchanan from the Republican Party to the Reform Party. The party Web site is organized into seven major areas: “Principles and Issues,” “Support and Volunteer,” “News and Views,” “States & Contacts,” “Committees and Events,” “Media & Interactivity,” and “Candidates & Campaigns.” The “Principles & Issues” section contains the party’s platform, constitution, mission statement, founding principles, and Reform Party history. The “Support & Volunteer” section helps citizens register with the Reform Party, register to vote, as well as make an online donation to the RP and purchase Reform Party merchandise and campaign materials.
The “News & Views” section provides press releases, lawsuit coverage, Campaign 2000 in the news, and links to what other people say about the party. The “States & Contacts” section provides links to state contacts, state chair contacts, national contacts, national committee contacts, and links to the College Reform Party. “Committees & Events” offers an inside look at the different Reform Party Committees and scheduled committee events. The “Media & Interactivity” section provides access to the Reform Party through different multimedia avenues. Online mailing lists, chat rooms, and a Web link guide are all available to review. The last section, “Candidates and Campaigns,” lists elected officials, candidates for the 2000 election, the rules for the selection of nominees for president and vice president, presidential candidates for the 2000 election, and links to the national convention in 2000 and previous conventions held in 1997-1999.
This Web site lacks
the most common feature of the other two party sites — attacks on rival
parties. The Reform Party site seems more concerned with sharing information
about the Reform Party than in critiquing its competitors.
Presidential candidates have begun to take advantage of the Internet by putting up Web sites. It would appear that just about every political candidate running for president has a Web site. Politics1.com [http://www.politics1.com/p2000.htm] has a list of presidential candidates for all the major and independent parties, as well as links to official and unauthorized candidate Web sites. I have decided to limit my examination to the major two parties candidates — Republican and Democrat.
Gary Bauer, former Reagan Domestic Policy Advisor and president of the Family Research Council, has decided to throw his hat into the political arena. The Web site is organized into four sections. The “Meet Gary Bauer” section includes brief biographical information about Bauer, various positions he held in the Reagan administration, and information on his family. “On the Issues” carries brief statements of Bauer’s positions on a variety of topics that include family, foreign affairs, education, national defense, pro-life, and taxes. “On the Trail” lists key endorsements, campaign speeches, and public appearances. The last section, “Add Your Support,” allows visitors to donate money and volunteer time to the Bauer campaign.
George W. Bush
George W. Bush, son of former President Bush and governor of the state of Texas, is considered the GOP front runner, although he has received a recent challenge from John McCain in New Hampshire. The site is available in both English and Spanish and includes nine different sections. “George & Laura Bush” provides biographical information on both George W. and his wife Laura. “On the Road” lists Bush’s scheduled appearances around the country. The “News” section itemizes press releases issued by the candidate. In the “Speeches” section, you can find a list of speeches that Governor Bush has made on a variety of topics — from his foreign policy speech at the Reagan Presidential Library to his speeches on education and faith-based incentives. To learn more about Governor Bush’s position on the issues, turn to the “Issues” section. Here you will find a list of issues most important to the governor, including agriculture, faith-based initiatives, education, high-tech, abstinence, education, and national defense.
If you would like to volunteer for the Bush campaign, go to the volunteer section. Here you can fill out a form and identify what level of support you would like to offer — working the phones, putting a sign in your yard, volunteering your time. You can contribute to the Bush campaign through credit card or check. You will also find donor information that has been sent to the FEC. One caveat is that the donor information is in .pdf format and is rather large and difficult to break down. Might be better to go to the FEC directly to get the information in a form easier to use, but at least the Bush site has included the information.
Do you want to
know who has supported Governor Bush? Click on the “Supporters” section
and you will find a list of governors, lieutenant governors, senators,
and congressmen who have endorsed Governor Bush’s campaign for the Republican
nomination. The “Youth Zone” is “Just for Kids” interested in learning
more about the Bush campaign. Bush compares running for president to playing
the game of baseball. Lastly, if you want to get active in your own state,
a drop-down menu will let you select your state and find out local headquarter
Malcolm S. “Steve”
Steve Forbes is the editor-in-chief and CEO of Forbes Magazine (from which he is currently on leave). He bills himself as a Reagan conservative but not a professional politician. The Web site is organized into several sections — “You Get It,” a middle section that includes biographical information, scheduling information, press releases, and speeches; the third section, “You@hq,” with information on contributing and volunteering to the Forbes campaign. The “You Get It!” section includes in-depth policy statements by Forbes on a wide range of topics including taxation, retirement and social security, education, medical saving accounts, and foreign affairs. Forbes also offers a briefing book that summarizes his position on the above topics and more.
The middle section
— bio, schedule, releases, and speeches — allows supporters and interested
citizens to learn more about Steve Forbes, his campaign schedule and appearances,
daily news releases, and speeches. The middle section also provides links
to news stories billed as “news first, fast, and unfiltered,” but really
is merely comments made by Steve Forbes about current events.
Orrin Hatch, senator from Utah and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, entered the presidential race late in June 1999. His site has three main sections. “Hatch Campaign 2000” offers campaign news, an online pressroom (press releases, schedule, and statements), speeches, and a news archive. The “Experienced Candidate” includes biographical information, position statements, and legislation he has sponsored or supported on various topics that include education, foreign affairs, environment, and defense. It also carries links to current legislation that Senator Hatch has introduced, as well as speeches on these and other topics. This section of the site updates frequently. The last section enables citizens to support Senator Hatch via their pocketbook.
Several things distinguish Senator Hatch’s site from his Republican counterparts. First, he provides a list of donors and the amounts contributed to his campaign; and second, he tells you how much an individual citizen can legally donate (up to $1,000) to a presidential campaign.
The site also
provides e-links to newspapers around the country and encourages supporters
to write letters to newspapers and join forums that support Senator Hatch’s
campaign. GOP links are also available that includes both national sites,
as well as grassroots organizations at the state level.
Alan Keyes, a former Reagan administration official, ambassador, and former GOP presidential candidate in 1996, has decided to seek the Republican nomination for 2000. The “News” section provides Keyes2000 Alerts, Special Events, and recent articles about the Keyes campaign. Keyes’s schedule is available on a monthly basis along with contact information. The section “Issues & Speeches” includes links to speech transcripts, links to his weekly column on WorldNetDaily.com, and a section on Keyes’s core beliefs and positions. To learn more about grassroots support for Keyes, the section “Friends and Supporters” provides links to state organizations that support Keyes’s campaign. The “Get Involved” section is set up to take donations via Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
John McCain, son and grandson of Navy admirals, senator from Arizona, and former POW survivor, relishes his status as a political maverick. He has made a name for himself, in recent years, by championing campaign finance reform with Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. The Web site is organized into 10 sections. The “John McCain Story” is a brief description of his life experiences in the Navy, Vietnam, and his elections to House and Senate in the 1980s and 1990s. (Nothing, however, is mentioned of his role in the Keating 5 scandal). The “Speeches & Releases” section contains the daily press releases issued by the McCain campaign. The “Campaign Calendar” lists McCain’s speaking and appearance schedule for the month. The “Campaign Trail” again provides press releases, speeches by McCain, press coverage of the McCain campaign, and campaign photos. “McCain on the Issues” has a question-and-answer presentation of how McCain stands on such issues as campaign finance reform, gun control, abortion, and tax relief.
The “Campaign Store”
is the McCain campaign’s stab at e-commerce. You can purchase t-shirts,
videos, bumper stickers, and posters that support McCain’s efforts. No
presidential campaign site would be complete without soliciting for money
and McCain’s does not disappoint. The “Contribute” section asks for support
and provides a donation form, an online fundraising kit, event registration,
and, for those reluctant to send credit-card information over the Net,
a snailmail form. If you want to volunteer for the McCain campaign, then
review the “Get Involved” section. Here you will learn all about volunteering
your time to the McCain effort. The last section, “Resources and Links,”
includes links to the National Republican Committee, State Republican Committees,
and links to the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Former senator, Rhodes Scholar, and one time small forward for the New York Knicks, Bill Bradley has emerged as a credible challenger to Vice President Al Gore. Bradley2000 is arranged into six sections. If you want to support Bill Bradley in his run for the White House, then check out “Get Involved.” Here you can donate money, become a member of the Bradley team, and drum up support for Bradley within your community. You will also find links to voter registration forms for all states. To learn more about who Bill Bradley is, what he stands for, and to read his speeches, click on “About Bill Bradley.” You can also read an extensive biography of his life (in English and Spanish). Here you can read his speeches and learn what Bradley has to say on a wide range of issues, including healthcare, working families, campaign finance reform, gun control, gay and lesbian issues, women’s choice, taxation, foreign affairs, and the military. Campaign news provides the latest news about the campaign, recent endorsements, campaign schedule, and finance reports to the Federal Election Commission. “In Your State” provides current news on the Bradley campaign at the state level. Click on any state or U.S. territory and you will find contact information, state news about the campaign, how you can get involved, and endorsements. If you want to purchase Bill Bradley for President paraphernalia, then look in the “Bill Bradley Store” [http://www.bradley2000store.com/].
Al Gore, former senator of Tennessee and Vice President of the United States, is the front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He has served with President Clinton for the last 7 years and now he wants his own shot at the top office. The site is organized into nine sections. “Agenda” offers Gore’s policy plans for the 21st century, with issues such as senior citizens, families, healthcare, crime, and taxation. To learn more about the Gore family and Tipper Gore, click on either of those sections. The “Briefing Room” provides press releases, endorsements, and statements by Vice President Gore about a wide range of issues and topics.
The “Interactive Town Hall” is something new. Here you can ask questions of the Vice President and get a response. A list of topics and responses already made also appears. If you want to support the Gore campaign, check out the “Get Involved” section. Volunteer your time, become a member of the Gore team, participate in online discussions — all available from this section. “Register to Vote” provides access to voter registration forms and information for all of the 50 states and territories. In addition, the entire site is available in Spanish as well as in English.
Of course, no
campaign site would be complete without being able to make campaign contributions
and this is true of the Vice President’s site as well. You can donate money
online through your credit card or through snailmail. FEC rules and requirements
are carefully outlined as well. Gore has also made his speeches available
online. They cover the economy, education, environment, healthcare, families,
foreign policy, and national defense. If you want to stay current with
the events of the Gore campaign, sign up for an e-mail newsletter.
Policy and Election Sites
Learn about the issues from these sites. Since the last election, the number of public policy sites has increased rapidly and these sites cover a wide range of topics, forums, and debates. If you are interested in candidate positions, party platforms and positions, and the concerns of the American voting electorate, then take a look at the list of public policy sites below. The following list includes nonprofits, non-partisans, and commercial organizations presenting information about policy issues that we face here in the 21st century.
Project Vote Smart
Project Vote Smart is the major program of the Center for National Independence in Politics. The Center, a national, nonprofit, non-partisan organization begun in March of 1992 at Oregon State University in Corvallis, offers citizens a “Voters Self-Defense System,” a collection of databases that provides factual, relevant, and independent information about candidates and the positions they espouse. The goal is to provide voters with the information needed to make an informed decision about the candidates elected to national and state offices. Project Vote Smart, supported by foundation grants and individual contributions from over 50,000 members, provides research and factual information on over 13,000 candidates and elected officials. The site divides into three important databases: Candidates & Elected Officials, CongressTrack, and Government & Politics.
Candidates & Elected Officials covers five important areas: biographical information; positions taken on the issues; voting records; campaign finances; evaluations of the candidates by special interest groups
CongressTrack is Project Vote-Smart’s “Citizen’s Toolkit.” Here you will find the status of legislation pending on the Hill, members and committees, sponsors of legislation, voting records, and weekly floor schedules.
Government & Politics provides access to information on federal and state elections, federal and state governments, issues, state ballot measures, voter registration information, and educational information.
Other areas of
note include the Vote Smart “Classroom” resources for teachers and students,
“Reporters’ Resources,” and a new database that searches presidential candidates
public statements. If you still cannot find what you need on the Web site,
you can always call Project Vote-Smart at 1-888-VOTESMART. Overall, this
ranks as a great source that can answer just about any question you might
have about a candidate. Don’t miss it.
Blue Dog Coalition
of Republican Assemblies
& Local Officials
of Republican Women
|Bush and the FEC
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) requires all candidate committees, party committees, and Political Action Committees to file periodic reports that disclose how much money they have raised and how much money they have spent for presidential and congressional campaigns. Candidates are also required, by law, to identify all political action committee and party committees that donate money to their campaign. Furthermore, candidates must identify individuals who give them more than $200 in a year. The financial reports have been made available in a series of databases from the Federal Election Commission’s Web site.
George W. Bush and Orrin Hatch, as well as all of the other Republican, Democratic, and Reform candidates, are required to submit to the Federal Elections Commission all of the money they have raised for their campaigns.
candidates can decide if they want to receive federal matching funds. Qualified
presidential candidates can receive millions of dollars in federal matching
funds. The amount of money given to presidential candidates is adjusted
for each presidential election year based on inflation. If a candidate
accepts federal matching funds, he must agree to use public funds only
for campaign expenses and also must comply with spending limits.
Want to learn more about public policy issues? Want to make informed decisions about current issues? Want to find others who share your concerns about these issues? Then try out the VoxCap.com Network. Billing itself as “the home of online activism,” the VoxCap.com Network provides a mechanism for those interested in channeling political, social, and civic passions and concerns into action.
Formed recently through the merger of two Chicago-based Internet companies — A2S2 Digital Projects (A2S2) and Digital Knowledge Assets (dka) — VoxCap.com LLC is the brainchild of former governor of Delaware, Pete du Pont; Diane Atwood, the founder and publisher of IntellectualCapital.com and Policy.com; Tim McDonald, founder and CEO of dka; and Sam Sneed, managing editor of Policy.com.
The VoxCap.com Network lets you learn about the issues and participate in communities that share your particular interests. Voxcap.com Network offers four sites that capture a wide range of issues for politically active citizens: Voxcap.com, Policy.com, IntellectualCapital.com, and CongressVote.com.
VoxCap.com focuses on three important areas of activism: “Community,” “Activity,” and “Content.” Information for each area is provided through original content as well as via links to organizations and news articles.
Policy.com, bills itself as “the Web’s most comprehensive public policy resource and community.” It is a great site dedicated to providing quality content on a wide range of issues. The site receives active participation from think tanks, advocacy groups, business groups, and policy analysts. The editors of the site have developed a site both objective and committed to editorial integrity. Policy.com has six sections: “News & Events,” “Issue of the Week,” “Issues Library,” “Bulletin Boards,” a “Student” section, and a “Community” links section. The “News & Events” area covers today’s news, a daily briefing, a policy calendar, feature events, and an e-mail newsletter, PolicyUpdate, keeps any policy wonk informed of the latest developments concerning a specific issue. The “Issue of the Week” is an in-depth examination of a single topic, combining news articles, government official statements, and research reports from think tanks and advocacy organizations.
My favorite area of Policy.com is the “Issues Library.” Any policy wonk should check this out. The editors of Policy.com have organized some 30 different topics in areas such as regulatory policy, government reform, immigration, defense policy, and environmental policy. You can read summaries of articles or travel via links to articles, reports, and case studies written on the topic by advocacy groups, think tanks, government agencies, and experts. A searchable directory of the “Issues Library” is also available.
The “Community” section provides a wonderful list of think tanks, advocacy groups, associations, foundations, businesses, universities, U.S. and foreign governments, international organizations, with links to a wide range of media outlets. Don’t miss this site – it’s a real gem.
IntellectualCapital.com is a weekly, bipartisan, public policy e-zine published exclusively on the Web. The mission of this e-zine is to provide “an informative and entertaining forum for the understanding and discussion of issues in the news.” The weekly articles go beyond sound bites and take an in-depth look at policy issues affecting the public. Regular and guest contributors provide viewpoints on topics that are wide-ranging and bipartisan.
The site offers up six courses that should satisfy just about anyone’s appetite for policy issues. The first course includes the issue of the week. Here you will find several related articles covering a single topic in detail. “Opinions,” provides commentary from contributors on eclectic and hot topics issues. “Worldview” explores current issues from a global perspective. The “Business and Technology” course has articles that discuss current policy issues affecting business and technology. All of the courses provide links to current and archived articles. “ICPolitics” includes articles that tackle the positions of the leading candidates in the major political parties. Look here for in-depth articles on politics and the issues. The last course, “Features,” includes political cartoons, book reviews, and debates about key topics, from the separation of church and state, to day care and the immigration debate.
CongressVote.com is the fourth site within the VoxCap.com Network. Here you can monitor key legislative issues as they wind through the halls of Congress. The site provides commentary from members of Congress through Op-Ed pieces and Q & A sessions, interactive discussions, news, legislative updates, polls, and information resources. The site is organized into different sections: “Congressional Spotlight” is a great way to read commentary by senators and congressmen on important pieces of legislation before Congress. “Congressional Search” provides biographical information on elected officials, and “Voting History” tells how elected officials voted on key pieces of legislation.
quartet of sites will provide something for even the most knowledgeable
of policy wonks. No student of policy should miss it.
Netivation.com, the owner of VoteNet.com, is an Internet public policy and healthcare technology company. In early December 1999, Netivation redesigned VoteNet.com to solidify its position as a leader in providing access to online political products and services. VoteNet bills itself as the one-stop shop for all things political. The site is content rich and designed for campaign managers, policy analysts, journalists, and association directors who need to know the Washington scene.
Designers have organized the site into several sections: “Today’s Headlines,” “Public Disclosure,” “Minority Politics,” “Congressional Voting,” “Follow the Money,” “Your Legislators.” “Today’s Headlines” provides capsule summaries with links to the full-text articles. “Public Disclosure” is a database of federal campaign contributions developed by FECInfo [http://www.tray.com/fecinfo]. If you want to know who gave money to whom, go here. You can find out campaign contributions for all candidates, which lobbying organizations fund which candidates, contributions from political action committees, and a list of U.S. candidates who have received the most campaign contributions.
If you need news
and information on minority issues, take a look at “Minority Politics.”
Netivation.com recently acquired PoliticallyBlack.com and it provides extensive
and hard-hitting news from a minority perspective. “Congressional Voting”
carries a daily list of the votes in both houses of Congress, along with
links to the pieces of legislation from THOMAS, the Library of Congress’s
excellent legislative site [http://thomas.loc.gov]. VoteNet.com also has
a searchable database of campaign Web sites. If nothing else, this site
provides access to who gets the money in politics.
The Center for
Speaking of money in politics, don’t forget the OpenSecrets.org site. Its creator, the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan, nonprofit research group, calls this site the “online source for money in politics data.” The Center monitors the effect money has on elections and public policy.
The site has three major sections — “The Big Picture,” Election 2000: Presidential Race,” and “Election 2000: Congressional Races,” plus a great list of databases that tracks the sources of money going into American politics. The databases include a lobbyists Database (1998 and 1997 data); political contribution profiles for current presidential candidates; presidential Race Donor lookup; incumbent campaign finance profiles (updated monthly); Political Action Committee (PAC) database (updated monthly); an individual donor lookup database (updated monthly); a soft money donor search; and a Congressional Travel database (1997 data).
The “Big Picture”
provides an in-depth examination into campaign spending for the 1998 elections.
The report offers an overview of how money dominates political campaigns
in the United States, top contributors, PAC contributions and its impact,
soft money contributions, business, labor, and ideological giving, industry
and interest group profiles. “Election 2000: The Presidential Race” looks
at the money behind the candidates: total amount of money raised; source
of the funds; disclosure quality (how well the candidates provide information
on donors); geographic totals; sector totals; selected industries; top
industries; top contributors; donor lookup, etc. “Election 2000: Congressional
Races” allows users to compare candidates by the size and source of their
contributions, the industries supporting particular candidates, and the
geographical distribution of the money.
Center for Democracy
The Center for Democracy & Technology is a nonprofit, public policy organization that steadfastly advocates a decentralized Internet to promote democracy in the U.S. and abroad. The Center’s leadership believes in the importance of the Internet as a media format suited to promoting democracy by encouraging broad access to government information. The site includes in-depth articles and reports on free speech and the Internet, data privacy, wiretapping, cryptography, digital authentication, terrorism and infrastructure, and access to government information. Current headlines detail administration and congressional activity in regulating the various aspects of the Internet. The Center has also created a nifty database of congressional legislation affecting the Internet in areas such as encryption, junk e-mail, free speech, wire taps, government access, digital signatures, and privacy concerns. The legislation guide is designed to monitor the progress of Internet bills introduced into Congress. The information includes the bill number, name of the bill along with sponsors and cosponsors, a summary of the bill, and the bill’s status in Congress. If you are interested in monitoring government policies toward the Internet, start here.
Public Agenda Online, billed as the “inside source for public opinion and policy analysis,” is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public opinion research and citizen education organization located in New York. Daniel Yankelovich and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance founded the organization in 1975. This site is pitched at both public officials and leaders who need to learn what the public really wants and citizens who need to understand policy issues. The site divides into three well-defined sections. “The Issues” offers a series of guides with nonpartisan overviews, digests of current news stories, major proposals, polling information that includes red flags about the survey data, legislation, studies, and research resources. Issues range across abortion, the economy, the federal budget, Internet speech/privacy, and welfare. This is a good nuts-and-bolts policy site that can offer valuable insights.
Common Cause, founded in 1970 by John Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, bills itself as a nonprofit, non-partisan lobbying organization that promotes honest, open, and accountable government. The organization is funded solely by its 200,000 plus membership; it receives no funding from government grants or corporate sponsors. The site is organized into several sections and features. Sections include a state legislation lookup, campaign finance studies, and current news releases.
The site also provides access to three valuable databases —Know Your Congress, Soft Money Laundromat, and Washington Watchdog. Know your Congress provides contact information on all representatives and senators, how they stand on Common Cause issues, and how they have funded their election campaigns. Soft Money Laundromat is a searchable database of special interest soft money contributions to Democratic and Republican national party committees. Washington Watchdog is a list of legislative issues important to Common Cause. The issues include campaign finance, corporate welfare, ethics in government, civil rights, and open government.
Common Cause also
has a small section on Campaign 2000. Here you will find financial information
about the major campaigns for the Republican and Democratic candidates.
Also available is a list of George W. Bush’s “Pioneers” — those campaign
fundraisers who have raised $100,000 for Governor Bush’s campaign.
C-SPAN — Campaign
C-SPAN, a public service provided by the American cable television industry, provides unadulterated coverage of American political and policy issues. With gavel-to-gavel televised coverage of the proceedings of both houses of Congress, C-SPAN serves as a political junkie’s cable TV feast.
In addition to
their regular programming, C-SPAN also has a “Campaign 2000” section on
its Web site. “Campaign 2000” includes “Road to the White House,” speeches
and interviews, campaign events and calendar, campaign video search, campaign
advertising, links, teaching resources, and a campaign ’98 archive. If
you want to follow the candidates’ schedules, check the “Campaign Calendar.”
Here you will find a monthly calendar of scheduled meetings, appearances,
and speeches given by the candidates. This is pretty handy if you want
to keep track of your favorite political hopeful.
The Democracy Network is a joint project between the Center for Government Studies (CGS), a non-partisan, think tank located in Los Angeles, and the League of Women Voters. CGS has established a national reputation in promoting campaign finance and ballot initiative reform, electoral and governmental reform, and state and local budget reform. DNET receives foundation and corporate funding.
Site features include a database of political activities for all 50 states, a section on “Campaign 2000,” a list of recent state elections, and the DNET Advisory Opinion page. To access the political activities database for the 50 states, click on the map of the United States or select a state from a drop-down menu. The database links to state public officials, state political parties, presidential election 2000 information, voter information, national and regional news organizations, information about upcoming elections, and links to other political sites.
The coverage in
the section for selected state elections is great. It doesn’t cover all
states, but for the ones it does, it offers a wealth of valuable information
on both state and local elections. You will find election results for state
legislatures and other “races of interest.” This site is not as comprehensive
as some of the earlier sites mentioned but does provide access hard to
Politics1.com is a non-partisan public service Web site run by Ron Gunzburger, a trial lawyer and former Assistant Attorney General of Florida. Gunzburger also publishes Politics1 Report, an e-mail newsletter of capsule summaries on current political news and events. The site divides into seven major sections: “Presidency 2000,” “The States: Races & Links,” “Political Parties,” “Issues & Debates,” “Politics1 Report Newsletter,” “Campaign Buttons,” “News Links,” and “Bookstore.” The “Presidency 2000” section contains an amazing list of all of the candidates running for president. You will also find links to recent polls, an election calendar, and other election 2000 Web sites.
The section on “States: Races & Links” lists current office holders and the dates for the next election. You can also find links to state legislatures, as well as links to the current office holders for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Parties” section is a great way to learn about the different political
parties in American politics. It reaches beyond the Democrats and the Republicans
and provides coverage on independent political parties. “Issues and Debates”
covers issues from a variety of political perspectives — left, right, libertarian,
and radical. This section also provides a handy list of links to organizations
taking a position on each issue. The “News Links” section arranges links
to political news sites into seven categories: political news and resources;
political polls and results; news resources; offbeat news and gossip; political
humor, satire, and parody sites; information on e-mailing your elected
officials; and international political resources. This site has a great
deal to offer if you are looking for news, issues and debates, and political
or policy organizations.
Political Information.com serves as a “search engine for politics, policy, and political news.” The site has three sections. “General Political/Policy Search,” the core of this site, is a searchable database of more than 5,000 political and policy Web sites, chosen for the high quality of content. (Note: nowhere on the site could I find an official criterion policy that described how the sites included in the database were rated and evaluated). The search database is re-indexed every 2-3 weeks to keep the database fresh and up-to-date.
Search” offers a summary of current political news taken from a select
list of authoritative political news; it updates every 2 hours. “Links/Sites-by-Category”
contains over 1,500 sites arranged into 220 categories. General categories
include campaigns, news, government information, grassroots, parties and
organizations, and research tools.
Although the Federal Election Commission is not a policy site, it constitutes an important political site. The site provides a “Citizens Guide to Contributions and the Law” (English and Spanish available), “Financial Information about Candidates, Parties, and PACs,” news releases, and media advisories, and campaign finance law resources, including Commission Advisory Opinions. In addition, the Federal Election Commission provides many different databases that deal with various aspects of money in politics. The section “Using FEC Services” provides a guide on how to research public records, a PACRONYMS database (an alphabetical list of acronyms, abbreviations, initial, and common names of federal political action committees), a combined federal/state disclosure and election directory for 1999, and a Freedom of Information Act Requesters Guide. The section “Information about Candidates, Parties and Other Committees” includes several databases on financial information for the 2000 presidential campaign, House and Senate Campaigns for 2000, monies collected by political parties for the 2000 election, and PAC information. If you are interested in the role money plays in American politics, check this site out.
Don’t Forget to Vote
If you are a serious campaign 2000 watcher, then the sites listed above should keep you well informed about the issues, the candidates, and the campaign. Happy wonking! Diligent voting!