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Elections Are On, and So Is a New Political Web Site

As major political races head for the home stretch, Encinitas-based InPolitics.com has debuted its politically themed Web site.

The Aug. 7 launch is the product of local residents David J. Smith and Andrew B. Serwin. In their political lives, both lean Republican. Smith has even raised money for former Gov. Pete Wilson. But both said they are taking a nonpartisan approach to their Web portal, which provides news from major media outlets, material about various political contests and original commentary.

Commentary from Washington, D.C., attorney Ralph Lotkin, who leans toward Democratic politics, is one thing balancing the site, Serwin said. Lotkin draws on more than 25 years of “inside the Beltway” experience, including time in the General Accounting Office.

A recent look at InPolitics.com showed Serwin’s interview with Tom Campbell, the Silicon Valley Republican congressman seeking to unseat Democrat Dianne Feinstein in the race for U.S. Senate. Feinstein has not given the site a similar interview, Smith said.

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Even so, InPolitics Web surfers are only a few clicks away from the official Feinstein Web site. There are also links to Campbell’s site, and to those of the five presidential contenders.

Veering off the campaign trail, Serwin has contributed an analysis of the A & M; Records vs. Napster court battle.

Another of the site’s functions, Serwin said, is civics education. Who’s the retiring lieutenant governor of North Dakota? Who’s running in Iowa’s 4th congressional district? How many representatives does Iowa have, anyway? InPolitics’ database has answers from all over the map. Another feature is a breakdown of campaign contributions, provided by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics.

Serwin and Smith said their site will continue past the presidential election.

“The political season is no longer from Labor Day to the election,” Smith observed, noting it is a “24-seven” proposition. Politics will remain at the site’s core, Serwin said, though he and Smith said there could be changes, like a new business-to-business feature.

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