Fox’s Friends

Posted August 8, 2003 at 5:51pm

The Congressional Black Caucus Institute announced it will team with Fox News Channel to televise two presidential debates this year.

The partnership was announced last week by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, CBC Institute and Fox News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes at Baltimore’s historically black Morgan State University, the site of the first debate on Sept. 9.

[IMGCAP(1)]The debates — to be aired live on Fox — are scheduled to include all nine Democratic presidential contenders.

A second debate, co-sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, will be held in Detroit on Oct. 26.

Two other debates, planned for Tougalloo, Miss., and Los Angeles, were canceled.

“We want to make sure people have access to the candidates and their positions on critical issues in order to make informed choices when voting,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), CBC chairman.

Fox’s Ailes said, “We are delighted to be associated with such a worthwhile endeavor.”

Online Boost. Congress Online, a newsletter produced by the Congressional Management Foundation that provides Congressional offices with information on online communications, has gotten an infusion of support from Capitol Advantage, a large online grassroots advocacy firm that will join CMF’s board of governors.

CMF Executive Director Rick Shapiro said that Capitol Advantage’s support will allow the foundation to continue and expand the Congress Online newsletter.

“Technology is offering citizens new ways to reach their elected officials, and the sheer amount of communications is presenting both challenges and opportunities for Congressional offices,” Shapiro said. “By expanding our research into how Congressional offices deal with grassroots advocacy campaigns, we’ll be addressing a pressing need in Congress to help offices improve office efficiencies and enhance communications with constituents.”

Congress Online is provided by CMF to Congressional chiefs of staff, press secretaries and systems administrators, as well as more than 1,000 subscribers in 21 countries, and had been funded under a grant from Pew Charitable Trusts.

With Capitol Advantage’s assistance, the newsletter will add new features focusing on the burgeoning area of online communications, grassroots advocacy and Congress.

“We need to continue to search for ways to improve communications between Congress and their constituents,” said Bob Hansan, president of Capitol Advantage. “I hope this research and newsletter will make it easier for constituents to communicate with Congress, ease the burden on Congressional staff, and improve the public’s perception of interacting with Democratic institutions.”

— Bree Hocking and Amy Keller