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Project Vote Smart offers congressional snapshot

Washington, DC – It's time to check up on the hired help. Find our what your senators are doing for you, or to you, with Project Vote Smart's Congressional Snapshot.

Political Action Committees, or PACs, donate millions of dollars to political campaigns each year. But what are PACs? And how much did they donate to your senators between 1997 and 2002? PACs are organizations formed by any group including businesses, labor unions and special interest bodies, created to raise money for a favored political candidate. Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison accepted over $970,000 from PACs, with over 96% of this funding coming from business PACs. Senator John Cornyn received over $1.67 million from PACs, over 84% of which came from business PACs. For more information about the PAC contributions received by your senators or representatives, call 888-VOTE-SMART or go online to, both free services of Project Vote Smart.

Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a non-partisan, non-profit, IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. PVS was inaugurated during the 1992 election cycle, with the goal of providing citizens with easy access to abundant, relevant, unbiased, factual information about political candidates. PVS does not support or oppose any candidate for political office. PVS does not endorse or lobby for or against any cause.

In a typical election year, PVS collects information on more than 40,000 candidates for the offices of president, Congress, governor and other statewide seats, state legislature, county board of supervisors, city council and mayor. For all candidates and office-holders in the offices listed above, PVS collects biographical information, issues positions, campaign finance data, voting records, and performance evaluations from more than 80 conservative-to-liberal special interest groups.

Project Vote Smart makes this wealth of information available FREE to voters through the following means:

Toll-Free Voter's Research Hotline - 1-888-VOTE-SMART (1-888-868-3762). Trained researchers are standing by to answer your questions about candidates and elected officials.

Vote Smart Website - on the World Wide Web at The American Political Science Association unanimously selected this site as the best political database on the web.

Voter's Self-Defense Publications - The Voter's Self-Defense Manual provides information on all members of the U.S. Congress, including contact information, campaign contributors, key votes, and more. The Vote Smart Web YellowPages is a comprehensive listing of political sites on the Internet. To order these FREE publications, simply call 1-888-VOTE-SMART.

In addition to these resources, PVS provides free services to political journalists, public libraries, and high school classrooms nationwide. During the last presidential election season, PVS answered over three million information requests daily.

PVS operates on an average annual budget of $1.5 million. Roughly one third of this money comes from philanthropic foundations, and the other two thirds of this money comes from the Project's 45,000 contributing members. PVS does not accept donations from political parties or campaigns, PACs, government entities, for-profit corporations, labor unions, or special interest groups.