Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category


Common Ground e-Newsletter: November 2015

5 November 2015
Written by

E-Newsletter November, 2015





Every week it seems there is a new divisive and contentious issue capturing the nation's attention. The media obsesses over them, politicians fight over them, and citizens are stuck in the middle of mistrust, misinformation, and misleading headlines. The facts deserve a place in any discussion about any issue and should be available at any moment and anywhere. Vote Smart has decided to make that possible.


Soon, you will be able to take out your smart phone or tablet, click on our app and receive a curated selection of information on the most pressing issues facing the nation at that moment. If a major bill is being voted on, a national crisis is taking place, or the Supreme Court is making a major ruling, just go to the app and see everything being said and done by politicians related to that issue. Issues are the heartbeat of politics. This mobile app will enable you to track them more closely and accurately than ever before.


- Jamieson Bates, Interim National Director






Vote Smart’s University of Texas Key Votes Division has selected 114 new Key Votes. Each has been reviewed by our 172 academic and journalist consultants, summarized by our staff in short, easy-to-understand terms, and put up on our web site over the past two months. Check out our website to see how your representatives represented you as they voted on key legislation related to the issues you care about.


This effort was led by Jace Sternadel, our New Key Votes Director.


Jace Sternadel

Key Votes Director


Jace has a Bachelor of Science in Political Communications from the University of Texas, has managed various successful Texas state legislative campaigns and began with Vote Smart as a Research Associate.







Walker McKusick

Research Director


Vote Smart announced last month that Jamieson Bates, the former head of our Research Department has stepped up as Vote Smart’s Interim National Director. Now we are happy to announce that Walker McKusick has been appointed Director of our Research Department. Walker received his B.A. in Economics and History at the University of Virginia, was a teaching fellow at the Bryanston School in England and attended the London School of Economics. Vote Smart is lucky to have his fresh talents.


Under Walker, the Research Department, with IT's help, has managed to begin automation of special interest group ratings. He reports, “We don't lift a finger or miss a rating! We're looking to expand these automation processes into our other areas of data.”






Microsoft, Google, NBC and MSNBC are the latest “Big Dogs” that have contacted us about using our data in their preparations to cover the 2016 National Elections.






For an at cost donation of $30, get a shirt guaranteed to give you an opportunity to talk about Vote Smart with everyone you meet.



Just call 888-VoteSmart or 406-859-8683 to pledge your $30 contribution and receive your shirt. Vote Smart will ship without additional charge.



Melanie Magnotto

Development Dept. Director


Melanie started with Vote Smart as an intern in our University of Texas office and was then hired as an assistant to Kristen Vicedomini, our now retiring National Director. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Texas and was the Outreach Director at the Longhorn Service Council in Austin.

Sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter 


Related tags: blog, newsletter

All fields are required.

Skip to top

Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.

Thank You!

You are about to be redirected to a secure checkout page.

Please note:

The total order amount will read $0.01. This is a card processor fee. Please know that a recurring donation of the amount and frequency that you selected will be processed and initiated tomorrow. You may see a one-time charge of $0.01 on your statement.

Continue to secure page »

Back to top