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Enclosed is a press release about the MN US Senate Online Debate which starts next week.

If you do not wish to receive other rare press notices from Minnesota E-Democracy, please let us know via e-mail <info@e-democracy.org>. Your address will be removed from our internal media contact list. Thank you.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:

Tim Erickson Debate Coordinator E-Democracy 2000 E-mail: designit@visi.com Tel: 651-917-8741 Pager: 651-966-2152

     US Senate Race Agenda Develops over the Internet  
   Minnesota Candidates to Debate Online Feb. 21 - March 3 
 E-Democracy 2000 Launched - http://www.e-democracy.org/2000 

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, February 18, 2000 - Minnesota continues to blaze the trail with the interactive use of the Internet in politics. From Monday, February 21st through Friday, March 3rd most announced candidates for the United State Senate in Minnesota will debate the substance of four major election issues.

The confirmed participating candidates in the pre-Caucus debate are Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates Michael Ciresi, Jerry Janezich, David Lillehaug, Steve Kelley, Steve Miles, Rebecca Yanisch and Reform party candidate James Gibson.

The online debate launches the E-Democracy 2000 partnership which provides one-stop access to election 2000 information, news, and interactive forums across Minnesota. To join the debate "audience" and to find candidate web sites visit:

              http://www.e-democracy.org/2000 

[Print publications are encouraged to include the following e-mail instruction. To receive the candidate debate directly via e-mail, send an e-mail to: mn-forum-subscribe@egroups.com ]

The US Senate E-Debate, first held in 1994, is based on one of the best models for structured online exchange among candidates. The Minnesota experience may influence those considering online debate activities with Presidential, Congressional, state, and local candidates around the United States and beyond. New innovations in this debate made possible by the Internet include the use of an online poll to allow the public to choose the four debate topics from choices submitted by voters.

"This online debate is being organized by citizens, for citizens, in the spirit that issues matter in an election," commented Tim Erickson, volunteer Debate Coordinator. "We are excited to have so many candidates engaged in this dynamic forum and hope to light an interactive fire across the Internet in Minnesota that will generate early interest in this important election. The online debate will be one of the most important and accessible U.S. Senate candidate events to date."

Steven Clift, Board Chair of Minnesota E-Democracy, noted, "Governor Jesse Ventura used the pre-Caucus debate in 1998 to share the substance of his campaign. It was one of his first opportunities to share the stage as an equal with the other candidates. We expect some surprises to emerge from this debate. With our strategic use of e-mail, the candidates' responses will be forwarded by close to 1000 audience members to friends, family, and fellow political activists across the state. This will give candidates in this crowded field the early exposure they need to become better known."

The E-Democracy 2000 partnership <http://www.e-democracy.org/2000> hosts the main online starting point for online Minnesota election resources from the media, candidates, government, and non-partisan civic organizations. Minnesota candidates for public office from dog catcher to US Congress up are encouraged to submit their web site addresses to help maintain Minnesota's position of having one of highest proportion of candidates using the Internet strategically in their campaigns.

About the E-Democracy 2000 Partnership http://www.e-democracy.org/2000/partners.html

E-democracy 2000 is made up of media and civic partners who provide citizens access to the election information, news, and interaction across Minnesota. This partnership is open to all media organizations, internet companies, and non-partisan civic organizations that do not endorse candidates. As of the February 18, the partners include Channel 4000, Checks

 

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