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The Lion of Open Government

August 26, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

One of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s overlooked accomplishments is that he was the first member of Congress to set up a website and communicate with constituents online. This was way back in 1993, when mainstream culture was just beginning to talk about a strange new phenomenon called “Internet.” Obviously, there was no infrastructure in place then for Members of Congress to have their own websites, so Kennedy had the site hosted on an MIT server.

Over at the Sunlight blog, Paul has the back story of how Kennedy came to be the first member of Congress with a website and how it was used by his office. One of the most notable early uses of the site, Paul notes, was posting, for public review, the text of health care legislation that Kennedy had developed in his committee the night before President Clinton gave his big health care speech to Congress.

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