Editor's note: Here she is, our new Internet Waves columnist Shirley Kennedy - who comes recommended by former I-waves columnist P. Michael McCulley. Shirley is a journalist and was until recently the network information manager for the Tampa Bay, Florida, Library Consortium. She's currently the Internet/systems administrator for Dynacs Engineering in Clearwater
Just about a year from now, we'll be exercising our franchise in this sometimes crazy, sometimes amazing democratic society of ours. Sprouting like crocuses in the spring (or like weeds in the garden, depending upon your point of view) are Internet sites devoted to politics and politicians. Get an advance look at what's going on in the political arena by checking out these sites:
* http://dodo.crown.net/~mpg/election/96.html (Election '96 home page) - "meta-site" with pointers to all sorts of political info
* http://www.democrat.org/(Democratic National Committee)
* http://www.gop.org/ (GOP Online)
* http://www.libertarian.com/wwlp/wh/ Libertarian Party)
* http://www.uwsa.org/ (for United We Stand)
* http:.//www.fosters.com/ (Primary Destination: New Hampshire)
For the first time in American political history, virtually every serious presidential candidate has felt the need to have a Web presence. At the time of this writing, these were all viable sites:
* http://www.nashville.net:80/~lamar (Lamar Alexander)
* http://iquest.com/~buchanan /index.html (Pat Buchanan)
* http://www.dole96.com/dole96 (Bob Dole)
* http://www.gramm96.org (for Phil Gramm)
* http://www.clark.net/pub/jeffd/keyes 96.html (Alan Keyes)
* http://www.iquest.net/lugar (Richard Lugar)
* http://faraday.ee.unf.edu/~jperez/politics/ powell/ (Powell for president)
* http://BizServe.com/specter (Arlen Specter)
* http://www.sjmercury.com/wilson.htm (Pete Wilson)
And of course, you can find Mr. Clinton at his regular online outpost:
It's not just the president we'll be voting for come November 1996. You need to keep tabs on your congressfolk as well, so you can make educated choices for the House and the Senate:
* http://www.vote-smart.org/ (Project Vote Smart) - This is a virtual treasure trove of data about your elected representatives. Includes individual ratings by the full range of ideological organization - environmental, feminist, ethnic/racial, liberal/conservative, religious, business interest, etc. Definitely worth a permanent bookmark.
* http://www.teleport.com/~pcllgn /id.html (Interactive Democracy> - It's unique, definitely. Click on a link and instantly send electronic mail to elected officials, government agencies, print and electronic media outlets.
* http://PoliticsUSA.com/ (for Politics USA) - Looks to be permanently "under construction," and rightly so. Political goings-on that may not have made your hometown newspaper appear to be added almost daily. Great site for poli-sci junkies.
* http://www.links.net/gov/poliphun. html (Poking Phun at Politicians) - Had your fill of the serious stuff? Check this one out. There's almost a full page devoted to Oliver North and even a link to a photo of Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon together at the White House.
Uh ... speaking of Richard Nixon ...
* http://nexus.chapman.edu:80/nixon/ (He's ba-a-a-ck ... )
Probably the proudest segment of my professional heritage is the chunk of time I put in behind the Clearwater (Florida) Public Library reference desk. Last time anyone counted, these great folks were answering in excess of 100,000 reference questions a year - approximately one-point-something per city resident. The reference staff has done a super job at integrating the Internet into their standard set of reference tools. And it's pretty, tough to keep up with what's new and useful "on the Bitstream." Check these out:
* http://www. …