Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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transparency

History of the Gold Mouse Awards

Ten years ago, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) created the Gold Mouse Awards to recognize the best websites on Capitol Hill. Learn how and why this competition was started, and hear from Rep. Mike Honda, the only six-time award winner in Congress.

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Op-Ed: Lawmakers may fail when it comes to ethics, but they try

I winced upon reading the results of The Hill's poll that found "(m)ore than two-thirds of voters think the ethical standards of politicians have declined over the past generation" and that a majority think they are "unethical" ("HILL POLL: Politicians, Congress unethical — and getting worse," June 13).

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Op-Ed: Congress’s tragedy of the commons

"As I step down from the chairmanship of the nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation, I'd like to make a plea to the members of Congress whom the foundation exists to serve: that they recapture the trust of the American people."

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How to Win a Congressional Website Award: Solid Issue Information

The Congressional Management Foundation will commence our seventh round of analyzing and grading more than 600 congressional personal, committee, and leadership office websites on June 1. The results will be released in October, with the Gold Mouse Awards Ceremony in November. We recognize that Members of Congress, by their nature, are competitive, which is why we established the Gold Mouse Awards system in 2001. One of the most common questions CMF gets is: 'What is the most important factor for winning a Gold Mouse Award?'

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Inside the Hill: The Power of Online Video

In the fifth installment of 'Inside the Hill', congressional staff discuss how online video can help connect citizens and Members of Congress.

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Inside the Hill: How The Public Is Heard

In the fourth installment of "Inside the Hill", Members of Congress and congressional staff discuss how citizens' voices are heard on Capitol Hill.

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Contrary to Popular Belief, Constituents Trump Lobbyists

Today, CMF and the Partnership released a new survey of congressional staff which reveals that they believe constituents have far more influence on undecided lawmakers than lobbyists. If you listen to the media, the pundits, or the general public, however, you might think lobbyists are at the top of the heap. But our research shows this is not the case.

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Op-Ed: The Law-Abiding Congressional Majority

"There was something slightly hypocritical in Ruth Marcus's column on the ethics cases pending before Congress ["House of entitlement," op-ed, Aug. 4]. She acknowledged the public "misperception" that "most lawmakers" are "heedless of ethics rules." Yet The Post and others in the media perpetuate that myth."

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Taking Transparency a Step Further

Earlier this week at our House training on congressional websites and the Gold Mouse Report, one of the attendees asked what his office - as an award winning office - could do to improve their website and perhaps get a Gold or even the Platinum Mouse Award next time around. I love that question because it shows that an office is not resting on their laurels happy that they won an award. It's something we get a lot. The best want to be better. Regrettably, we don't always see that same focus and drive in the offices at the bottom of the list.

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111th Congress Gold Mouse Project Training

Today we conducted training programs for House and Senate congressional staff on "Lessons from the 111th Congress Gold Mouse Project". Attendees looked at examples of successful websites, learned how to immediately improve their websites and received advice and insight from a panel of staff from award-winning congressional offices.

If you missed it, download the presentation handouts here: Gold-Mouse-Training-handouts (PDF) (9.3 MB).

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SETTING COURSE

compass

Now in its 13th edition, Setting Course is a comprehensive guide to managing a congressional office:

  • Part I is for new Members, focusing on setting up an office. 
  • Part II helps Members themselves define their role in the office and in Congress. 
  • Part III provides guidance to veteran and freshman offices on managing specific office operations.