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Date: June 24, 2010
California Watch Launches PoliticsVerbatim.org
PoliticsVerbatim.org is a new site from California Watch and Chase Davis. The site will attempt to track every quote, promise and statement made by our two major candidates for governor in California – Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman.
The search tool allows readers to sort candidate statements by nine different categories – including promises, attacks and vague policy points. If they dodge an issue or a subject, there’s a search category for that, too. Readers can also sort by geography to see where the candidates have been appearing – and what parts of the state they’ve been ignoring.
The site also will include blog posts from Davis, Senior Editor Robert Salladay and Sacramento-based reporter Timothy Sandoval.
The candidates’ statements are sorted by 26 topics – from abortion to welfare.
PoliticsVerbatim launches with about 300 documents and 1,000 excerpts. The site will be adding content daily, scouring news and campaign sites and Twitter and Facebook feeds. They are also encouraging crowd-sourcing from other journalists and readers, and hope to soon create easy ways for readers to upload video and audio files from public campaign events.
California is a massive state, and can’t provide blanket coverage. But with help from others and from our media partners, they can build a useful, relevant tool in a critical election year. They are hoping to explore additional partnerships with other media outlets to strengthen the content of Politics Verbatim.
The overarching goal is to create a resource for voters and for those interested in policy. When Davis pitched Politics Verbatim a couple months back, he hoped the site would be a way to bring more accountability to the political process. By tracking the candidates' spoken words, we could hold their feet to the fire when they break promises or fail to live up to campaign pledges.
The site will evolve in the next few weeks. The launch is Phase I. They expect to roll out a second phase in the next month or so – a phase that will include easier ways to assess the positions of Brown and Whitman side-by-side. In that respect, Politics Verbatim will help serve as an interactive guide for undecided voters.
Read the official launch announcment here
Posted by Eric
Ward on 6/24/10
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