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How Should the Government Respond to Obesity?,

Tanya Wanchek

Exploring different government policies on obesity, a well-recognized public health problem in the Commonwealth and in states across the country, encourages one to think through the advantages and disadvantages of public policy.  Furthermore, it…

Virginia State Police,

Virginia Department of State Police

The Virginia State Police website offers information about police initiatives to improve public safety throughout the Commonwealth. Website visitors can see the ways the public can access these initiatives, including public safety tips and annual vehicle safety inspections. Police are also subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the website offers directions for requesting information. Overall, the Virginia State Police portal deals with ways the public and public safety officers interact with each other, which is a prime example of government in action.

Secretary of Finance,

Secretary of Finance

This website outlines the way the Secretary of Finance implements Virginia’s budget, in cooperation with the Governor, legislature, and other departments. One important aspect of the website is Agency Information, which shows how the Secretary of Finance connects with other financial departments. A News section offers press releasees about the Governor’s financial policies. While brief, the Secretary of Finance website shows the interconnectedness of government offices.

Where Does My Money Go?,

Auditor of Public Accounts

This website is a user-friendly database of information about the state budget, as well as demographic information about different localities. On the main page, a pie chart provides a breakdown of the top ten appropriations in 2007. Users can search for information about how much local governments received in appropriations, how many driver’s licenses were issued in each locality, and comparisons between budgets for different localities. Each data set is available in excel format, in case users want to create their own graphs or another analysis of it. This website is extremely easy to navigate, and offers a wealth of information about Virginia’s budget.

VRA to Invest More Than $200 Million in Local Projects Statewide ,

Rod Davis and Liz Bryant

The Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) is a state organization that helps fund local government projects, such as infrastructure, public health and safety projects, and public schools. This document describes the VRA and some projects it has funded.…

Role of the Office of the Attorney General,

This straightforward one-page document discusses the role of the Attorney General, what she or he does, and what she or he is legally not allowed to do.

What branch of government does the Attorney General fall under? Who are the clients…

Muldoon Announces for Lieutenant Governor, Calls Candidacy a 'Choice, not an Echo',

Steve Waters

In this press release, Republican Patrick Muldoon announces his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor in the 2009 election. Muldoon raises issues he plans to address during his campaign. He also makes reference to his opponent in the primaries, incumbent…

Political Activity for Public Servants (Hatch Act),

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

These Hatch Act guidelines outline the legal restrictions placed on government employees’ involvement in political activities. This website is aimed at state, federal, and local government officials, and it offers a window into potentially problematic areas of government. How may state and federal officials participate in political campaigns? When does it become a conflict of interest? These questions and more could form the basis of a classroom discussion or a research project.

Virginia Public Access Project,

VPAP

The Virginia Public Access Project is a non-profit, non-partisan organization which strives to provide information to the public about Virginia campaign donations through computer technology. Their website offers maps of where legislator’s donations come from, the size of their donations, and lists of contributors. There is also information on lobbyists, donors, vendors, and committees. In addition to using the wealth of information on this site, students may benefit from comparing it to the Virginia State Board of Elections Campaign Finance Website. How does a private group’s portrayal of campaign financing differ from the government website?