An Author’s Praise of Ballotpedia

Accuracy and precision are foundational to products able to withstand assault whether from nature, opposing counsel, or agency PhDs. As an engineer, lawyer, and lobbyist I’ve seen trust turn to suspicion upon the proffer of incorrect information. Mistakes are taken as lies. And as all Lobby School students learn, scrupulous honesty is the sine qua non of effective lobbying.

I also have written practice guides–so far, seven titles and nine volumes–on influencing lawmaking as done by the legislative and executive branches of state government. The Internet abounds in sources useful to support almost any preselected political conclusion. But for technical publications, including lobbying manuals, to be useful they must go heavy on facts and law and light on partisan politics. For this kind of information, Ballotpedia is my go-to source. Ballotpedia is cited in all six volumes of my recently completed Insiders Talk series of lobbying manuals.

Ballotpedia reports facts, unsullied by partisan politics. For personal education that may be enough. But for technical writing, practices manuals or legal briefs, Ballotpedia is of first importance because it alerts authors to screened on-point quality work. Technical writers then proceed to examine Ballotpedia’s sources as to value and suitability for possible citation as non-partisan, factual, and probative.

Ballotpedia’s analyses are also useful for organizing and broadening one’s thinking. For example, their Administrative State series was quite useful in writing with Chris Micheli the sixth book in the Insiders Talk series, Guide to Executive Branch Agency Rulemaking.

Almost like Tristan da Cunha, the world’s most isolated settlement, by providing unbiased, factual, useful, applicable, trustworthy information Ballotpedia stands almost alone in this present darkness’ vast sea of partisan propaganda, right and left, that tickles biases rather than serving as fairminded useful guides.

Thank you, Ballotpedia, from an author who relies on your work.

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