Talk:Ballotpedia

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Nonpartisan?[edit]

Don't you just love that the only sources describing this website as non-partisan are far-right organs like the Murdoch owned WSJ, who have an obvious interest in lying about the true lack of impartiality of their fellow travellers over at Ballotpedia. Fact is the site is funded by the Koch brothers notorious funders of right wing parties throughout the world and creators of many astroturfing and propoganda organisations in order to spread vicious lies to fund their extremist political ideology. I would suggest a complete rewrite (or deletion) of this obviously biased and partisan article More information is available here178.167.254.76 (talk) 00:38, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Funny, the Sourcewatch article you link to is a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, a progressive advocacy outlet funded by the Democracy Alliance and billionaire George Soros. [1] I can find no evidence that Ballotpedia is or has ever been funded by "the Koch Brothers." Based on a quick search, I found the site described as "nonpartisan" and/or "objective" by a wide variety of sources that can hardly be described as "right-wing." E.g. the Washington Post [2], the National Education Association [3], and the Daily Kos [4]. Oh, and this is funny: I did find evidence this website's sponsor has received funding from a billionaire--John Arnold, a....wait for it....Democrat and Obama bundler. [5], [6]. May be time to update your narrative. Champaign Supernova (talk) 01:21, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
What a snarky response! I strongly suggest you retract and apologize to that IP. 71.23.178.214 (talk) 13:34, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Champaign Supernova[edit]

I deleted "In the News" as that is NOT a recognized Wikipedia section, and will now delete it again. Those sections were copied from another website, and I thought all were deleted years ago. Wikipedia is NOT a linkfarm, listing all the places some group has been mentioned in passing. See Guidelines for further explanation of what Wikipedia is and isn't. 71.23.178.214 (talk) 13:25, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

"Non-partisan"[edit]

Ballotpedia is non-partisan only in the sense of the FEC definition, which is to not mention a candidate or political party by name. It certainly has an ideology, as one can see by the backgrounds of its staff (Koch, FreedomWorks, etc.) Nothing wrong with that, but why the determination to hide it? Organizations such as the Cato Institute is up-front about its views and ties, and obscuring them raises questions.

Example 1: Geoff Palley, Research:
http://blogs.cofc.edu/gradschool/2009/08/19/guest-blogger-geoff-pallay/

The final week of school I was informed that I had been selected for the Charles Koch Associate Program, which is a one-year program that trains futures leaders of nonprofits interested in liberty. I am spending the year working for the South Carolina Policy Council as a Policy Analyst, while also learning Market-Based-Management — a management philosophy created by Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries. The program lasts until May 27, 2010.
My first week was spent in Washington DC, where the program is based out of, for a crash course in the program. There are 81 other associates in the program scattered throughout the country — 60 based in DC, 21 in other cities.
The mission of the South Carolina Policy Council is “to promote limited government, free enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility.” It has been a great experience working in a nonprofit organization, after spending two years learning about the nonprofit world in the classroom. Working as a policy analyst, it has extremely rewarding to be a part of important state and national issues that are shaping our world.
Being able to apply the academic principles I learned at the College to read world problems is another great reminder of why the MPA degree is so helpful!

http://fee.org/library/detail/geoff-pallay

Geoff Pallay
March 08, 2010
Working for SC Policy Council in the Koch Associate Program.

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/geoff-pallay/15/57a/751

Geoff Pallay
Director of Strategic Projects at Lucy Burns Institute
Charleston, South Carolina Area
Nonprofit Organization Management
Previous: South Carolina Policy Council, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, The Beaufort Gazette

http://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Geoff_Pallay

Note what's now missing:
"Geoff Pallay is the Director of Strategic Projects and Associate Chief Content Officer for the Lucy Burns Institute...Prior to joining Ballotpedia in June 2010, Pallay was a policy analyst for the South Carolina Policy Council, where he covered a number of issues including the state budget. Originally from New Jersey, Pallay spent eight years in the south, studying Journalism and History at Emory University before earning a Masters in Public Administration at the College of Charleston."

Example 2: Sarah Rosier, Project Director of Congress
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/sarah-rosier/b/83/1a4

Sarah Rosier
Congress Project Director at Ballotpedia
Washington D.C. Metro AreaPolitical
Previous: FreedomWorks, Calvert County Public Schools, Smithsonian National Zoo
Education: University of Maryland College Park

http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Sarah-Rosier/1788231039

Sarah Rosier, Congress Project Director
Employment History (summary)
Development Coordinator
FreedomWorks
Operations Assistant
FreedomWorks
Member, Staff
Lucy Burns Institute

http://www.lucyburns.org/about/our-staff/

AGAIN, note what's now being euphemistically described as a "grassroots organization":
PROJECT DIRECTOR: Sarah Rosier
Sarah is the Congress Project Director for Ballotpedia. She joined the LBI staff in April 2013. She previously worked in development at a grassroots organization in D.C. Sarah graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in rhetoric and political culture. She lives in North Beach, Maryland with her husband and family of adopted animals.

http://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Sarah_Rosier

AGAIN, note what's now missing altogether:
Sarah Rosier is the Congress Project Director for Ballotpedia. She joined Ballotpedia in April 2013. She graduated from the University of Maryland, with a B.A. in Rhetoric & Political Culture.

That's two - you can google the rest of the staff on your own. As for the rest of my deletions which were reverted, InfoWorld is not some definitive ranking source for political websites. Neither are the other sources cited for Ballotpedia being non-partisan. Reliable sources aren't necessarily reliable for all areas of all topics.

However, the best compromise might be to have a section for Staff, in which the backgrounds of each person, including family connections, are described. In addition, the sources claiming Ballotpedia to be non-partisan should be included: it's hardly a surprise that Fox and the WSJ, both Murdoch-owned, would describe them as such. Would that be acceptable? 71.23.178.214 (talk) 14:01, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

If you find some WP:RS discussing your concerns, great. Right now this looks like WP:OR, and I don't think someone's LinkedIn profile is an appropriate source. You've also picked two seemingly random staff (are they particularly notable? Ever mentioned in the media?) According to the sources in this article, there are 34 staff. So I'm just not sure how the LinkedIn and organizational/past employer biographies of 2 staff is going to help us here. Champaign Supernova (talk) 16:01, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Re. inclusion of "Policypedia": I can find no WP:RS's discussing Policypedia. If you want to add it to the article, please do so by adding a reliable citation. Champaign Supernova (talk) 16:04, 8 December 2014 (UTC)