1999 Archive

CVF-NEWS is a free, electronic newsletter published by the California Voter Foundation. CVF-NEWS features news and updates about democracy and the Internet, emphasizing activities taking place in California. Please fill out our online form to receive your free subscription to CVF-NEWS!

Below is an archive of past CVF-NEWS updates. We will endeavor to archive new updates at this index page as quickly as possible. Remember: an email subscription to CVF-NEWS is the best way to ensure that you receive this newsletter on a timely basis.

December 15, 1999

RE: Digital Sunlight, CA Initiatives, Online Voting

In This Issue:

* Digital Sunlight Awards & Progress Report
* Prop. 24 struck from the California ballot
* Initiative Watch 2000 Update: "And then there were twenty...."
* New York Times' Cybertimes Story on Internet Voting (continued).

December 7, 1999

RE: Digital Sunlight Awards News Release

Sacramento -- Today the California Voter Foundation released the results of a nationwide survey and forecast of Internet disclosure of money in politics. The survey looked at efforts underway in all 50 states to implement programs that provide for electronic filing of, and Internet access to campaign finance records. The survey found that 35 states currently offer some kind of campaign finance data on official state web sites, and 32 states are moving forward with electronic filing programs (continued).

December 6, 1999

RE: Digital Sunlight Awards to Debut December 7

On Tuesday, December 7, the California Voter Foundation (CVF) will announce the results of a nationwide survey and forecast on the status of Internet disclosure of money in politics. The report includes rankings and ratings for every state. Seven states will be honored with the prestigious 1999 Digital Sunlight Award (continued).

December 2, 1999

RE: What's Happening at CVF

Thanks for the helpful feedback on our beta-test for our new CVF-NEWS listserve. We may have a few bugs to still work out, and appreciate your patience. Please remember that you can now subscribe and unsubscribe yourself to CVF-NEWS -- just follow the instructions at the bottome of this email message.

Now that I know this is working, I'll fill you in on what's been happening at the California Voter Foundation. We've been busy the past few months working on a new project, the Digital Sunlight Awards. Next Tuesday, December 7th, we'll be launching the awards and publishing a major report on the status of digital disclosure in all 50 states on our Digital Sunlight web site ( We'll be issuing a news advisory on Monday, and a release on Tuesday, which will provide much more information about this exciting new project (continued).

November 23, 1999

RE: Testing, testing... is this thing on?

We are beta-testing our newly-reformatted CVF-NEWS list to see if it is wprking properly. Your feedback is appreciated! Please reply and let us know that you received it, and feel free to offer any stylistic critique you'd like (all input is greatly appreciated:) ). Once we know we're back up and running with our new CVF-NEWS listserve, I'll send out another message to bring you all up to speed on what's been happening lately at the California Voter Foundation.

August 3, 1999

RE: CVF-NEWS on hiatus

Well, I had a feeling this might happen -- it appears that my email account, is in the process of crashing. This is the account I've had for the last five years, and the California Voter Foundation's newsletter, CVF-NEWS, is managed through this account via an email distribution list.

My email service is managed by Mindspring, which bought Netcom recently and, unfortunately my email problems have escalated ever since. In addition, the size and needs of our newsletter (now nearing 2,000 subscribers) have apparently exceeded the capacity of my email program. We are in the process of switching CVF-NEWS to a listserv, and hope to succeed in retaining our current subscribers' email addresses. (continued)

July 29, 1999

RE: CVF is hiring!

The California Voter Foundation is looking for a full-time fundraising and communications director, and we'd really appreciate your help in getting the word out and finding the right person. As you'll see in the job announcement below, we need a very special and talented individual to join the CVF team as soon as possible. If you know someone who is looking for a new job or ready to make a career change, please encourage them to consider this position. This position is also posted on our web site at

July 16, 1999

RE: Presidential candidates, FEC shed digital sunlight

I'm happy to report that more than half of the major presidential candidates' latest disclosure reports are available on the Internet! Elizabeth Dole, Dan Quayle, Gary Bauer and John McCain have joined Bill Bradley and Al Gore in filing their reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, which is now a requirement of any candidate who accepts federal matching funds in the presidential election.

Yesterday was the filing deadline for the Second Quarter 1999 reporting period, covering contributions received and expenditures made between April 1 - June 30, 1999. (continued)

July 7, 1999

RE: July 17 Net & Politics workshop - UC Davis

You are invited to attend a workshop I'll be leading on Saturday, July 17th at UC Davis' Political Campaign Management Institute, from 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

The institute, now in its 15th year, provides training to political candidates and others who want to learn how to be effective in the political process. My workshop, titled "The Net and the Next Wave of Political Activism" will explain how to use the Internet to build a successful, grassroots political campaign. Specifically, participants will learn what to feature on a campaign web site, how to publish an electronic newsletter, and how to use the Internet as a tool to enhance other outreach efforts, such as paid & free media, volunteer organizing and "word of mouth" advertising. Other topics we'll discuss include how to raise money, reach younger voters, and respond to a political attack via the Internet. (continued)

June 29, 1999

RE: CVF News Round-up

Today's edition of CVF news features items on the following topics:

* Adult entertainment lobbyist buys up candidate web site domains
* History Channel airs 4-part special on California History
* California's new budget enacted today
* PUC rules on Internet phone call rates
* Update on California's Internet Voting Task Force (continued)

June 23, 1999

RE: Internet Voting: CVF survey results

On Thursday, June 24th, California's Internet Voting Task Force will hold its second meeting, at the Registrar of Voters office in San Mateo. At this meeting, the California Voter Foundation will release the results of our first survey of our members, on the topic of Internet voting, featured below. Your comments and feedback are welcome and appreciated. CVF's Internet Voting survey is also available on our web site at

Many thanks to the CVF members who contributed their input to this survey! I'll have more news and updates on Internet voting after Thursday's meeting.

June 14, 1999

RE: Net Fundraising, PUC, and CA History

I've got some updates on a few issues featured in a recent edition of CVF-NEWS to tell you about, plus a series on California history that I'd like to bring to your attention. In this issue of CVF-NEWS:

* FEC clears the way for online fundraising in Presidential campaigns
* Governor Davis appoints new PUC Commissioners
* SF Chronicle publishes outstanding series on California history (continued)

June 10, 1999

RE: Will multiple reform measures appear on March 2000 ballot?

Will the March 2000 Primary be a repeat of California's 1996 and 1988 elections, when two competing campaign finance reform initiatives were put before voters? That's how things are shaping up, as multiple efforts are developing to address a variety of complex governance issues, covering campaign finance, the redistricting process, and legislative salaries. Here's a run-down on what's happening. (continued)

May 28, 1999

RE: CVF-NEWS Round-up

I've got several important items to share with you in this edition of CVF-NEWS:

* What's new at
* Secretary of State's Staff holds public hearing on California electronic filing format
* Internet disclosure status report available from the Center for Responsive Politics
* California PUC to decide on case that may cause an increase in Internet rates in California
* PBS to air program on California's Three Strikes law
* News on the Net & Politics from the Alliance for Better Campaigns
* FEC audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (continued)

May 20, 1999

RE: FEC to permit matching funds for online donations

Presidential hopeful Bill Bradley recently asked the Federal Election Commission to allow credit card donations raised over the Internet to be eligible for federal, public matching funds. Today the FEC met and discussed the Bradley campaign's specific request for an advisory opinion, as well as a more general rule to permit other presidential candidates to raise online credit card donations that can be matched with public funds. (continued)

May 17, 1999

RE: Zedillo in Sacramento

It's not every day the president of Mexico visits California, but soon California will greet the President of Mexico, Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon.

President Zedillo will address California lawmakers in the Assembly chamber of the California State Capitol on Tuesday, May 18, 1999. His address is to begin at 10:30 a.m., and will be available for viewing on TV via the California Channel (check your local cable listings), or via the California Channel's web site, at (continued)

May 13, 1999

RE: The Griset case: disclosure vs. anonymous speech

Some of you may already be aware of an important pending legal issue here in California, addressing the conflict between public disclosure and anonymous political speech. It's called the Griset case, and it's a long, complicated and extremely important legal issue that I will try my best to summarize for you, since the outcome will have widespread consequences for political disclosure and "digital sunlight". (continued)

May 10, 1999

RE: CVF News Headlines

There has been a lot of exciting news on the political front in California recently and this edition of CVF-NEWS provides some highlights. If you really want to stay on top of California political headlines, I recommend you make Jack Kavanagh's Rough & Tumble web site, at part of your daily Web diet :)


* CA's open primary modified to address parties' concerns
* Will partisanship sink California's 150's birthday party?
* Californians found to be cynical, disinterested, and tired of partisanship
* On the brighter side....Californians are happy to be Californians
* How do they REALLY count votes in the California Assembly? (continued)

April 26, 1999

RE: Headlines Extra -- Internet and Politics (fwd)

I'm forwarding to you a recent newsletter from the Benton Foundation, featuring news highlights on Internet & Politics activities. As you'll see below, it includes items about Jesse Ventura, several presidential candidates, and a summary of the California Journal's March 1999 profile on my work with the California Voter Foundation.

I know that many CVF-NEWS subscribers already receive the Benton Foundation's excellent daily news summaries highlighting stories from several major newspapers about communications, technology & politics -- for those of you who aren't yet signed up for this wonderful and free daily email bulletin, instructions are at the bottom of this message. (continued)

April 21, 1999

RE: Commonwealth Club, Pres. campaign $ and more

In this edition of CVF-NEWS....

* CVF & other Webby Award winners at the Commonwealth Club 4/23
* Gore & Bradley file disclosure reports with FEC over the Internet
* L.A. Times publishes report on California's major donors
* California Channel wins cable industry's Beacon Award (continued)

April 7, 1999

RE: Smithsonian, Greens & CFP '99

I'm writing today from DC, where I'm attending the 9th annual Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference. It's a fascinating mix of people and issues, and if you're in the DC area, try to drop by and attend a session or two -- the full agenda is online at, and the conference concludes Thursday evening, April 8th.

In Other News....Green Party candidate Audie Bock was sworn in to office on Monday, representing the 16th Assembly District in Oakland. (continued)

March 31, 1999

RE: A Green in the California Assembly?

Yesterday a special run-off election was held in Alameda County to fill a vacant State Assembly seat.

With most of the ballots now counted, it appears that the Green Party candidate in the race may be the victor. As the Secretary of State's bulletin below points out, there are still some absentee votes to be counted. (continued)

March 25, 1999

RE: Unz, Miller propose reform initiatives

Four new initiatives were submitted to California's Attorney General today dealing with a variety of political reform topics: campaign contributions; voluntary spending limits; public financing; Internet disclosure; elected officials' salaries and reapportionment. The proponents are Ron Unz (of Prop. 227/bilingual education fame) and Tony Miller (author of 1996's Prop. 208, which is still tied up in the courts). The web site address for the "Voters Rights 2000 Campaign" is (continued)

March 19, 1999

RE: Webby Awards -- The Day After

Thanks so much to everyone who sent kind wishes for our Webby success! Here is the final wrap-up announcement and an extended acceptance speech -- I promise this will be my last email about the Webby Awards :). For a complete list of winners, visit the Webby Awards web site. -- KA

March 18, 1999

RE: CVF Wins Webby Award!!

I'm thrilled to tell you all that the California Voter Foundation's web site has won the 1999 Webby Award in the Politics and Law category! I'm here at the post-party in San Francisco's City Hall, reveling with the rest of the thousands of Webby award partygoers. Winners were given all of five words to use in our acceptance's mine: "Thanks! Contributions are tax-deductible!" Wish you were here! -- KA

March 18, 1999

RE: Net Voting; Live Webbies Webcast

Yesterday I attended the first meeting of California Secretary of State Bill Jones' Internet Voting Task Force. Task force members include people from the fields of elections, technology and politics. The 20 of us spent about three hours discussing the various issues that must be addressed in considering voting over the Internet. Important topics included security, privacy, authentication, public trust in the system, and other processes impacted by the prospects of Internet voting, including voter registration and initiative petition signatures. (continued)

March 16, 1999

RE: CVF News Round-up

This edition of CVF-NEWS features a round-up of recent stories and news items, including links you can follow to get the whole scoop. Enjoy! (continued)

March 5, 1999

RE: CA's Open Primary law upheld again

California's Open Primary law has survived the most recent legal challenge -- this time, it was before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. As you may recall, the challenge to the law has come from California's Republican and Democratic parties. Media statements from the California Democratic Party indicate they plan to take their challenge to the last and final step -- the U.S. Supreme Court. Below is an excellent story about the decision from today's San Francisco Chronicle. (continued)

March 1, 1999

RE: March 2nd - Local Elections in 52 CA Cities

March 2nd is Election Day in 52 of California's cities. In addition, the city of Pasadena will hold local elections on March 9th. The CaliforniaVoter Foundation has compiled a list of the cities that are holding elections in March, along with links to helpful resources from county elections offices, such as features that let you locate your polling place by typing in your address.

I'll be giving a "guest commentary" about the cancellation of seven local elections on tomorrow's California Report, which is produced by KQED in San Francisco, and airs on public radio stations statewide during their morning broadcasts.

To find out more about this month's local elections, visit:

A special thanks goes to CVF Managing Director Saskia Mills, and CVF interns Debbie Rotenberg & Casey Elliott for their last-minute, hard work on this project, as well as the League of California Cities for their research assistance. Thanks also to the many CVF-NEWS subscribers who shared your thoughts with me about the cancellation of the local elections -- your comments were very interesting and extremely helpful.

February 26, 1999

RE: NY Times on CA High-Tekkies & Initiatives

Here is another fascinating story from Rebecca Fairley Raney ( that appeared in yesterday's New York Times Cybertimes. This is an excellent overview of the current phenomenon in California of high-tech entrepreneurs getting involved with the initiative process. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

February 23, 1999

RE: 7 Local Elections Canceled in L.A. County

By now many of you have probably heard the news that elections in seven cities located in Los Angeles County have been canceled due to a lack of competition. Specifically, Lakewood, Beverly Hills, Hidden Hills, San Gabriel, City of Industry, Monrovia, and Rolling Hills had originally scheduled municipal elections for March 2, but canceled because no candidates stepped forward to challenge city council incumbents. State law allows cities to cancel elections when there is a lack of competition as a way to save money.

The story first appeared in the February 21 edition of the Los Angeles Times in an excellent article by staff writer Doug Shuit (featured below). On February 22, NPR's "All Things Considered" featured a report by Andy Bowers ( Both stories cited voter apathy, the high cost of running for office, and a general contentment with the status quo as prime reasons for the canceled elections. (continued)

February 10, 1999

RE: CRS reports, Webby awards and more

In this issue of CVF-NEWS.....

* CRS reports available online!
* Still time to vote for the Webby Awards
* CVF in the News -- NY Times, Chronicle of Philanthropy and more
* More California campaign finance data coming online soon
* Two minor political parties dropped from California ballot
* CVF Membership -- please join! (continued)

January 26, 1999

RE: CVF nominated for Webby, Smithsonian awards

Great news! The California Voter Foundation has been nominated for two prestigious awards -- the 1999 Webby Award and the 1999 Computerworld Smithsonian Award.

There are actually two Webby awards -- one given by judges, and the other, called "The People's Voice" award, is chosen by Internet users casting their votes for their favorite sites. If you'd like to vote for CVF (and qualify to win tickets to the glamorous Webby awards party in San Francisco!) visit the Webby Awards site at Be sure to vote soon -- all votes must be cast by February 5th, 1999. (FYI, the online balloting process also happens to be an excellent demonstration of how Internet voting can work :-))

To learn more about the awards nominations, please see today's news release.

January 19, 1999

RE: New initiative proposals for March 2000 ballot

This edition of CVF-NEWS provides a brief update on the status of two pending initiatives, both coming from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs (could this be a new trend?).

First, we have a new "None of the Above" initiative, which went into circulation on January 11, 1999. The NOTA initiative is sponsored by Al Shugart, founder of Seagate, a Silicon Valley technology company. His web site is located at, and features some information about his initiative under the headers "FOE" and "FOEPAC". More details about Mr. Shugart and his initiative are featured in John Gartner's January 12 story for TechWeb News.

Second, there is a brewing initiative sponsored by Tim Draper, another Silicon Valley entrepreneur who is using the Internet to collect ideas from the public about what to include in a school choice-oriented initiative. His web site is located at, and it appears Mr. Draper is planning to release the final text of his measure on January 25th. He initially hoped to gather signatures on the Internet for his petition drive; however, currently there are no laws or mechanisms in place that would permit an initiative proponent to gather digital signatures to qualify an initiative.

The California Voter Foundation will continue to track these and other initiatives in the works for California's 2000 ballot, and will soon launch our new March 2000 Election Preview Guide. You can also find very helpful updates on the status of initiatives at the Secretary of State's web site, at

January 5, 1999

RE: Davis to deliver State of the State on Jan. 6th

On Wednesday, January 6th, Governor Gray Davis will deliver his first "State of the State". The event will be held at 5:00p.m. on the floor of the State Assembly, where Davis is expected to outline his agenda and priorities for his term as California's governor. Davis will deliver his State of the State before the 120 members of the Legislature, as well as state dignitaries and special guests. (continued)

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