- Project Vote Smart
Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a
non-profit, non-partisanresearch organization that collects and distributes information on candidates for public office in the United States. It covers candidates and elected officials in six basic areas: background information, issue positions (via the Political Courage Test), voting records, campaign finances, interest group ratings, and speeches and public statements. This information is distributed via their web site, a toll-free phone number, and print publications. The president of the organization since its founding is Richard Kimball.
PVS also provides records of public statements, contact information for state and local election offices, polling place and
absentee ballotinformation, ballot measure descriptions for each state (where applicable), links to federal and state government agencies, and links to political partiesand issue organizations.
History and background
1992, 40 national leaders, including Barry Goldwater, John McCain, former U.S. Presidents Gerald Fordand Jimmy Carter, founded PVS. PVS does not accept financial contributions from lobbyists, governmental organizations, corporations, labor unionsor other special interests. It is financed by donations from more than 45,000 members and through grants from philanthropicfoundations, including the Carnegie, Ford, Knight and Revson foundations.
In addition to monetary donations, members donate their time as [http://www.vote-smart.org/program_internships_member.php member interns] for a two week stay at the ranch.
Four locations have housed PVS since its inception. Originally based at
Oregon State Universityin Corvallis, Oregon, PVS established another office in 1994, at Northeastern Universityin Boston. In 1999, PVS established its headquarters and research center at the Great Divide Ranch, in the Rocky Mountains, near Philipsburg, Montana. And in 2006, PVS added a branch at The University of Arizonain Tucson, Arizona.
Richard Kimball's 2006 bonus and salary
In 2006, founder and president
Richard Kimballreceived a bonus of $471,994 (33% of the Project Votes Smart's annual budget in 2006), as well as a 400% increase in salary. The explanation provided for the bonus on the tax form was "This bonus was paid to compensate Richard Kimball for being the key employee and leading the organization for more than 10 years at a very low average salary between $25,000 and $35,000…His new salary is $114,314 per year." This moved caused some fervor on a blog run by a former employee. [Matt Castanien, [http://www.partisanfreepolitics.com/2007/06/richard-kimballs-40000-bonus-pvss-990-tax-form/ Richard Kimball’s $400,00 bonus!!! & PVS’s 990 TAX FORM] [http://www.partisanfreepolitics.com Partisan Free Politics] , 06/06/25.] [Patrick Duganz , [http://www.missoulanews.com/index.cfm?do=article.details&id=B36BE057-F75F-54A2-E4221F926F439F8B&message=Your%20comment%20has%20been%20posted%20rel= Raising Richard, Breaking the pay scale at Project Vote Smart] Missoula Independent, 08/30/2007] [http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/search.summary/orgid/6560.htm] [http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2006/850/364/2006-850364261-02d289e6-9.pdf]
On the Issues
* [http://www.vote-smart.org Project Vote Smart web site]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/19970802100204/www.vote-smart.org/about/info/background.html Background and History of Project Vote Smart] . Retrieved November 6, 1996.
* [http://www.votesmart.org/blog Project Vote Smart's Blog: The Voter's Speakeasy]
* [http://www.ithaca.edu/ithacan/articles/0409/23/news/1campus_speak.htm "Campus speaker urges smart voting"] . "The Ithacan". September 23, 2004.
* [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-130428568.html "Nonprofit political research group to open branch at U. Arizona"] . "University Wire". October 26, 2006.
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