By concentrating on actions of members of Congress, project seeks to cut through partisan and ideological biases and provide citizens with accurate assessment of Congressional performance

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 4, 2014 at 6:41 a.m.



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TO POLITICAL, AND TECHNOLOGY EDITORS:

Military Vet Creates GovRate in Response to Record Low Approval

Ratings for Congress in Effort to Hold Politicians Accountable for

Their Voting Record

SAN FRANCISCO, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A disgruntled military

vet has threatened to throw a wrench into the plans of career

politicians that have failed to represent the values and desires of

their constituents. Brett Hunter, a computer science student and

recently separated vet, is developing a new Internet application that

aims to identify all of the politicians on Capitol Hill that regularly

place their own interests ahead of constituents.

"It's no longer business as usual for these politicians that fail to

place the best interests of Americans before their own self-serving

interests," says Hunter, the self-avowed apolitical founder of the

GovRate Project (http://govrate.org). "My only political ambition is

to ensure that Congress represents the values of ordinary Americans

above personal, partisan or other special interests."

GovRate works by asking users to share their opinions on current and

past legislation from both houses of Congress. It then compares these

opinions to the actual voting record of the user's actual

congressional representatives. In addition, GovRate acts as a catalyst

for change by canvassing users for their own legislative proposals.

GovRate compiles this information from all users and "rates" each

member of Congress with a simple letter grade.

"For the first time, we're going to be able to see how Congress

performs in real-time, with constant popular analysis of congressional

actions," boasts Hunter. "I'm not a political person, but I just felt

that something like this was sorely needed by the American public."

GovRate also collects other information on Congressmen including

lobbyist activities, earmark spending, and controversial committee

activities. This information is also integrated into the letter grades

that politicians receive.

GovRate members have complete control over how all this information is

weighted into the grading process, with the most important aspects of

Congressional activities weighted the highest.

"All of our calculations are transparent and controlled by the

consensus of our members. This is truly a grassroots-based and honest

assessment of Congressional performance. We've set up an environment

that mitigates the effects of partisan and ideological bias by asking

people to analyze the actions of Congressmen rather than the

individual members themselves," explains Hunter. "The widespread

distribution of our ratings will help voters make informed decisions

during the election cycle."

Development of GovRate is ongoing and Hunter hopes to launch a

beta-version of the application to the general public in early Summer.

For more information and to follow the progression of GovRate, visit

http://govrate.org.

Contact: Brett Hunter, GovRate Project, (503) 894-5223, Email

Read more news from GovRate.

SOURCE GovRate

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/Web Site: http://govrate.org

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0000 03/04/2014 13:35:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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