FROM:   Kim Alexander, CVF President
DATE:   May 10, 2000
RE:   CA's "Open Primary Before U.S. Supreme Court

Hi Folks:

In this edition of CVF-NEWS:

* Get Ready for the Webby Awards!
* Disclosure improvements in California
* 24-hour California News Channel in the works
* New Pew Internet study released today
* Learn How Cookies work on the Net

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* Get Ready for the Webby Awards!

The 4th Annual Webby Awards are being held in San Francisco Thursday night, May 11, and the occasion has caused some fond reminiscing here at CVF headquarters. Some CVF-NEWS subscribers may recall that CVF's web site,, won the Webby Award last year in the Politics and Law category. It was a huge honor for our non-profit web site, run by a small team of staff and interns on a modest, $200,000 annual budget, to be recognized alongside major web ventures like and But that's the nature of the Webby Awards, which you can read much more about in the numerous stories that have been published, including one in today's Sacramento Bee featuring CVF, available online at:

This year, we're keeping our fingers crossed for our friends at PoliticsOnline, nominated for their excellent web site, which tracks stories, studies and conferences relating to the Internet and Politics, and also offers a free, electronic newsletter and an online fundraising service that CVF and lots of other groups are using. Check it out at, and tune in to the Webby Awards on the Internet tomorrow night to catch all the excitement via live webcast --

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* Disclosure Improvements in California

The Secretary of State's office continues to make improvements on CAL-ACCESS, the new program launched this year to facilitate electronic filing of, and Internet access to California campaign finance and lobbying disclosure data. The site now features an alphabetized directory of all Filers by Name, and another directory of Filers by Office or Measure. Thanks to these two new features, it is now possible to browse the electronically-filed reports online.

Another exciting development at CAL-ACCESS is the addition of lobbyist disclosure reports online. In this area, you can quickly find out how much different lobbying groups are spending, how much they are contributing, what bills they're lobbying on, and who they are paying to lobby on their behalf. The Secretary of State has made this feature even more user-friendly by hyperlinking the bills disclosed in the lobbying reports to the official bill information available from the legislature. Check it all out at:

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* 24 Hour California News Channel in the works

The Sacramento Business Journal reported this week that plans are in the works to launch the California News Service, a 24-hour cable news channel modeled after CNN and headquartered in downtown Sacramento. For many years people have complained about the lack of T.V. news available throughout the state from Sacramento following the closure of local TV network bureaus a decade ago. The effort is being led by CNN veteran Ken Chamberlain, who is aiming to launch the channel in February 2001. More details are available in the Business Journal's story:

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* New Pew Internet study released today

The new Pew Internet & American Life Project released its first report today with findings on how Americans are using the Internet. The study found that the gender gap on the Internet is closing, showing that nine million women have gone online for the first time in the past six months, and that a total of 55 million Americans access the net on a typical day. The survey found that a total of 90 million Americans have been online, and of that group, 35 percent (or an estimated 32 million Americans) have specifically gone online to look for political news and information, and 47 percent have used the Internet to visit a government web site. This is the first in a series of studies sponsored by this new Pew Charitable Trusts-funded research group, which is affiliated with the Pew Research Center. To learn more, visit

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* Learn How Cookies work on the Net

While the Internet audience continues to grow, many people are unaware of the privacy risks we take when we surf the web. I recently checked out a web site that shows Internet users what kind of information can be learned about you through your browser and demonstrates how cookies work. Those who are interested in protecting your privacy on the net, or would like to show your friends and family what can be learned about you while you surf online, should pay a visit to: The site will instantly analyze your system and tell you what can be known about you, including your operating system, what plug-ins you use, and whether your name and email address can be tracked through your browser. It's a real eye-opening experience, and helps people better understand the privacy risks involved when surfing the web.

That's all for today!

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This page was first published on May 10, 2000 | Last updated on May 10, 2000
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