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Local House members grok the “series of tubes”

By Josh Richman
Monday, February 26th, 2007 at 2:19 pm in Anna Eshoo, Barbara Lee, General, Mike Honda, U.S. House.

honda.jpgThe Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan consulting and research outfit Washington, D.C., has singled out a few Bay Area lawmakers for having some of the best Web sites in Congress.

The 2006 Gold Mouse Report: Recognizing the Best Web Sites on Capitol Hill evaluated the sites of 538 Senate and House Members, 64 committees, and 13 legislative leaders. Only 85 Web sites were singled out for recognition — 18 won Gold, 27 won Silver and 40 won Bronze Mouse Awards. Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, earned Gold; Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, earned Silver; and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, earned Bronze.

Not winning any awards: U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who famously likened the Internet to “a series of tubes.”

The report and awards are part of the foundation’s broader research project, “Connecting to Congress,” funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. CMF partnered with researchers from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; the University of California, Riverside; and Ohio State University to study how members of Congress can use the Internet to improve communications with their constituents and to promote greater participation in the legislative process. Web sites were graded on how well they incorporate five basic building blocks that extensive research has identified as critical for effectiveness: audience, content, usability, interactivity, and innovation. Read the full report here.

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