As you might expect, our online interview with President Clinton brought comment from our readers. Our e-mailbag this week also includes barbs about the focus of our coverage.
The Borgens wrote:
"Get the word to the President to urge our elected representatives to encourage e-mail. Our Congressman and both Senators (Colorado) refuse to embrace e-mail because they say they have inadequate staff to handle all the mail ... The President is correct in his appraisal of the dramatic impact the Internet will have and is having. If our directly elected representatives consider our concerns to be too much trouble to encourage, all other governmental links and resources somehow seem impersonal and distant."
Paul Rockwell of Centerview, Mo. thought we went too easy on the president in our choice of questions. Mr. Rockwell wrote:
"If the puffball q/a article with our illustrious leader is the best you can offer, I'll borrow some news letters from the local Democratic Party representatives. Did you kiss Clinton before or after the "interview"?
We also often hear from our readers about the scope of our coverage. Stateline.org closely follows six issues being hotly debated in many of the 50 states -- education, healthcare, tax and budget policy, welfare reform, utility deregulation and campaign finance reform. We soon plan to add a seventh: land use and sprawl.
New Jersey reader Arlene Horowitz asked why Stateline.org doesn't track state transportation issues. Ms. Horowitz wrote:
How about a transportation beat? I edit a national transportation magazine, "in Transition," which is published by New Jersey Institute of Technology under the auspices of two NJIT affilliates, the MPO for North Jersey and the Institute for Transportation. Given the billions of federal and state dollars devoted to the topic, don't you think it merits special treatment?
We got a similar e-mail from State Senator Kenneth McClintock of Puerto Rico, the immediate past president of the Council of State Governments. Senator McClintock wrote that he found our Web site badly deficient:
You had absolutely no data on Puerto Rico, not even the US Census data which is as readily available as that of any state...Puerto Rico...has a population larger than that of 26 states (3.9 million United States citizens)...
Eds: note: We do think transportation merits special treatment and would like to include information on U.S. commonwealths and territories, but our staff and financial resources are limited. So we have made arguable, but not arbitrary decisions about what to focus on, and what to leave out for now. Expanding the scope of Stateline is one of our goals, but frankly at the moment it's a long-range goal. We want every item on our site to be as accurate and up-to-date as we can make it -- and with a staff of just nine people, we have our hands full keeping Stateline.org as it now exists up to the high standards you deserve and expect.
If you have questions or comments that you'd like to share with other Stateline readers, e-mail the Executive Editor.