South Shore Skeptics' Link Library

 

Best Voter Information Websites

See also Fraud, Civil Rights, Pension, Public Policy, Voter Info Sites

PROJECT VOTE-SMART collects exhaustive information on U.S. presidential, house, and senate candidates, state, and local races, including lesser known parties and candidates ( over 13,400 candidates in all ). Data includes fulltext of candidates' public statements on known issues, voting records, and 'report cards' from major special-interest groups, showing percentage of time candidate voted their way. Candidates' public statements include some they'd rather forget, made to special interest groups and industry associations.

Note: Vote-Smart has been unable to collect all of the special-interest report cards this year, and may have to suspend operations due to the forest fires and drifting smoke threatening their Rocky Mountain location -- they're under an evacuation order, and their access road has been closed, but the servers somehow keep running.

OPENSECRETS , formerly Center For Responsible Politics, tracks campaign money for the same range of candidates. Includes Senate disclosures not available on the Web from government sources. ( The Senate exempted themselves from r reporting to the FEC, and only reports to the Clerk of the Senate, who charges for printed copies -- padded out in some cases to hundreds of pages ). Data includes not only who's bankrolling each candidate, but also tracks donation patterns designed to prop up gas prices, prescription drug prices, tobacco legislation, gun regulation, and Microsoft anti-trust enforcement activity.
Political parties don't have to disclose sources for 'soft money' donated for "party-building activities", including huge advertising budgets for manufactured issues.

FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION carries House and Presidential finance disclosures in detail, but only sketchy Senate disclosures ( see OpenSecrets above and Public Disclosure Inc. below ). ). Soft money is listed only as party totals ( http://www.fec.gov/press/ptymy99a.htm ).

C-SPAN Cable has a Web video archive of candidates' speeches, ads, interviews, convention coverage, caucuses, and links. Great for tracking the "24-hour spin cycle".

NATIONAL TAXPAYER'S UNION Mainly spending issues.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE INC: Includes Senate contributors by company name, industry code.

Did You Know: "One man, one vote", does not mean all voters get equal representation in Congress. Any Congressman can introduce a bill. However House committee that can bury a bill need not have the same party ratio as the full House. The only rule is "To the victor, the spoils." - Source:: C-Span Capitol Q&A

 


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