B y J i m N i n t z e l
SO YOU'VE HEARD the media hype about how those Newtoids in Congress are wiping out school lunches, clear-cutting our forests and dumping toxic sludge into our rivers. Curious to know how much of it's true?
Now you can find out for yourself, thanks to the folks at Project Vote Smart, a non-partisan public interest group dedicated to providing citizens with information about their elected officials--the "hired help," as they put it.
Project Vote Smart volunteers--mostly interns at campuses around the country--compile information about voting records, campaign contributions and special interest group ratings for the country's congressmen. The information is available to anyone who calls the group's toll-free hotline, 1-800-622-SMART. (You can see the results of Project Vote Smart's work tracking campaign contributions in this week's feature story.)
Now, thanks to a generous $150,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation, the group is sending a free report card on our congressional delegation to voters in Arizona. The U.S. Government: Owner's Manual shows how our congressmen voted on the Contract with America legislation and details their PAC contributions. The booklet also contains a whole bunch of other info, including phone, fax and e-mail numbers for the reps.
Webheads may want to take advantage of Project VoteSmart's new spot in cyberspace, which puts a wealth of political information at your fingertips.
The easy-to-navigate site allows you to thoroughly profile members of our congressional delegation, and it provides more info about voting records, political contributions and ratings by various special interest groups.
The web pages also feature info about state governments, the White House and the Supreme Court, as well as articles about how the government works and how citizens can make a difference.
Project Vote Smart's U.S. Government: Owner's Manual can be ordered by calling (800) 622-SMART. The web site is at http://www.vote-smart.org
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