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Project Vote Smart: Wikis


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Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a non-profit, non-partisan research 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 ballot information, ballot measure descriptions for each state (where applicable), links to federal and state government agencies, and links to political parties and issue organizations.


History and background

In 1992, 40 national leaders, including Barry Goldwater, John McCain, former U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, founded PVS. PVS does not accept financial contributions from lobbyists, governmental organizations, corporations, labor unions or other special interests. It is financed by donations from more than 45,000 members and through grants from philanthropic foundations, including the Carnegie, Ford, Knight and Revson foundations.

In addition to monetary donations, members donate their time as member interns for a two week stay at the ranch.

Four locations have housed PVS since its inception. Originally based at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, PVS established another office in 1994, at Northeastern University in 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 Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

Richard Kimball's 2006 bonus and salary

In 2006, the Project's Board, which includes his wife and long-time political allies, unanimously voted founder and president Richard Kimball a bonus of $471,994 (33% of the Project Votes Smart's annual budget in 2006), as well as a 300% increase in salary. This story caused a controversy among former and current employees when the 990 tax form was posted on the organization's facebook page. Initially, Project Vote Smart deleted this information, however, eventually the discussion came to be hosted on a blog run buy several former employees[1]. 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…Once the bonus was paid, Richard Kimball's annual salary was raised to reflect the amount of effort being expended to run a national organization with a $1.5 million budget. His new salary is $114,314 per year." This story was picked up by the Missoula Independent newspaper[2][3][4]

See also


External links



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