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Campus Notebook: Outdated Websites Mocked

If you looked up the websites for the Joint Committees on Printing and the Library on Monday, you might think the panels are being run by ex-convicts and the deceased.

The house.gov websites, which had not been updated since the 109th Congress, listed as part of the committees several Members who are no longer serving — including two who are dead and one who recently spent time in prison.

Jcl.house.gov listed that the Joint Committee on the Library is vice-chaired by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who died in a plane crash in August.

Ex-Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.), who died of cancer in 2007, was also listed among the panel's ranks.

As of Monday, house.gov/jcp listed as chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who in 2007 was sentenced to 30 months in prison on corruption charges. Ney was listed alongside several other former Members, including John Doolittle (R-Calif.) and Mark Dayton (D), now the governor of Minnesota.

The sites were noted in a Monday blog post by the Sunlight Foundation, which named them "by far the worst" Congressional websites in existence.

Spokesmen for Democrats and Republicans on the House Administration Committee couldn't explain why the sites were not updated for more than five years.

Daniel Schuman, policy council for the Sunlight Foundation, said in an interview that the fact that the sites went unmaintained for at least two Congresses underscored the lack of attention the panels get.

"It shows that the Members don't view the committees as being important," he said. "No one's minding the store."

A Democratic spokesman noted, however, that when they were in the majority, the updated sites for the joint committees were hosted on the House Administration Committee website. In fact, Republicans on the House Administration Committee also host an updated list of the joint committee rosters and rules on their site, and similar lists exist on the senate.gov domain.

After Roll Call inquired why the old websites had not been updated or removed, Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing, asked the House Chief Administrative Office to redirect his committee's site to that of the House Administration Committee, a Harper spokesman said.

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