The Hill on The Net
Electronic Update #20


Lacking many other accomplishments, the 105th Congress may be able to lay claim to bringing most of its members online. At the end of the 104th Congress in 1995 about 69 Senators had e-mail addresses, and 41 were on the web. In the House there were 168 members with e-mail addresses, and only 93 on the web. The 105th Congress will come to a wrap with many more members online. Ninety-seven Senators have e-mail addresses, and 99 are on the web (see Update #17 for the holdout). In the House there are about 343 members with e-mail, and more than 400 on the web. With member turnover, those numbers will start a bit lower in the 106th Congress. Keep a close eye on the freshmen to see how quickly they get online. Most of them had their campaign's online, will wiring their offices be a priority?

If you're a head counter like me, the best source of a single listing of Congressional e-mail addresses and URLs is still at the University of Michigan Document Center courtesy of Grace York. Check it out...

Grace York's Congressional E-mail & Web Address List

In a repeat of last September's Congressional Internet crunch (See Update #19) when demand for the Starr Report and the high volumes of e-mail to members of Congress in response ground the Hill on the Net to a screeching halt, Congressional servers were once again pounded and e-mail gateways backlogged. Shortly after having removed a second web server that had been installed to spread the Starr generated load, the Senate put it back in service to once again deal with unexpectedly high demand. Similarly additional e-mail gateways were added to handle hundreds of thousands of incoming e-mail messages. The crunch on the House side was mad worse by a bug in the House's e-mail program and was reported in the below stories by CNN.

Bug slows impeachment e-mail to House members - 12/16/98

Microsoft blames old software for House e-mail slowdown

At the Fifth Politics Online conference held at George Washington University earlier this month, a new award was established to recognize, well... politics on the Internet, particularly campaigns. Let me let them use their own words...

"With the GOLDEN DOT AWARDS, the GSPM establishes an annual award that will inspire and nurture civic excellence by online political activists by lauding the achievements of those whose efforts have met high standards along the following four dimensions: Substance, Innovation, Interactivity and Public Accountability."

And if you like awards, keep an eye on the PoliticsOnline Site for their 'Best of the Political World Wide Web'

The Winners of the 1998 Golden Dot Awards


Looking forward to a breather between campaign seasons? Don't bet on it. While some candidates in '98 didn't bother putting up a campaign web site until late in the cycle, I expect that more and more you will find the online campaign signaling the start of the season. By that measure the 2000 races are underway. Former Senator Bill Bradley is the first Presidential contender out of the gate that I've seen, and Freshman Senator Rick Santorum has begun his online re-election campaign as well.

Bill Bradley Presidential Exploratory Committee

Rick Santorum for Senate

Guess what? I'm going to Finland. Seems they're hosting the 2nd International Congress on Electronic Media & Citizenship in Information Society (guess I missed the first). Well, it's gonna be webcast live, so if you don't have anything better to do at about 4:00 am (Eastern) tune me in online :-)

2nd International Congress on Electronic Media & Citizenship in Information Society

That's all for now!



Copyright 1998 by Chris Casey

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