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22 February 2008
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Sun Washington - Sunshine Week 2008: The Sunshine Campaign has joined Project Vote Smart's 20,000 mile Purple Bus Tour that is bringing the Voter's Self Defense System to people around the country.

Sixteen years in the making, the Voter's Self Defense System provides online access to information on more than 40,000 candidates at all levels of government. The nationwide tour brings a bus specially equipped with a movie theater and computer terminals with free Web access to demonstrate the system.

The Sunshine Campaign has produced informational brochures and promotional giveaways that will be distributed at each of the bus' stops. The brochures explain the Sunshine Campaign's goal of bringing the importance of open government forward as an issue that candidates from president to city council should address. Project Vote Smart also has worked with Sunshine Week to include questions about open government issues in its candidate surveys.

"The Project Vote Smart tour is a great opportunity for the Sunshine Campaign to engage an even wider audience in the discussion about protecting access to government information, and to encourage those people to ask candidates about their positions on the issues," said Sunshine Week Coordinator Debra Gersh Hernandez. "The more voices that are out there expressing concern about Freedom of Information, the less candidates - and later elected officials - will be able to ignore or subvert it."

"In the manipulative, evasive politics of our day, the collaborative effort between Sunshine Week and Project Vote Smart will enable every citizen to shine the light on truth," said Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball.

For more information about Sunshine Week and the Sunshine Campaign, go to To see the Purple Bus schedule and access the Voter's Self Defense System and other Project Vote Smart resources, visit

Project Vote Smart is a national research organization founded by national leaders such as Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, John McCain and Geraldine Ferraro. It is funded entirely through foundation grants and the individual contributions of 45,000 members.
They provide information through their Hotline (1-888-Vote-Smart) and web site ( including campaign finance data, biographical information, voting records, issue positions, special interest groups' ratings, candidate speeches and public statements, and contact information on close to 40,000 candidates and elected officials at the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, state and local levels

Sunshine Week,, is a non-partisan open government initiative led by ASNE, with online and broadcast media, public officials, celebrities, civic groups, non-profits, libraries, schools, religious leaders and others. It is endowed through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,, which invests in journalism excellence worldwide and the vitality of the 26 communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. It focuses on projects with the potential to create transformational change.

Related tags: 2008-election, Richard-Kimball, Sunshine-Campaign, VSDS, blog, bus-tour

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