Key Links 
Influencing the Debate   
Public policy is shaped by many forces. Political parties help frame and set the tone of debate. The two major parties have long dominated the American political scene; third parties face huge obstacles in their attempts to establish a foothold. Interest or advocacy groups have come to have an increasing impact since the 1960s. Traditional business and trade associations work to protect and advance their members' interests. Political consultants advise elected officials, candidates, parties, interest groups and associations on how best to present their arguments. The growing professionalization of politics in the past fifty or so years has contributed to today's costly campaigns and may be one factor alienating some voters from the political process. Think tanks of various stripes house scholars whose ideas, analyses and studies often underpin policy debates; think tanks are an important source of experts. Foundations provide grants that fund think tank studies, some fairly extensive media campaigns, and specialized news coverage. News organizations influence the agenda by what they cover and how they cover it. Most importantly, individual citizens such as yourself, taking an active role in your neighborhood or community, make our democracy work.
POLITICAL PARTIES Expanded Parties Section
Democratic National Committee
Republican National Committee
Libertarian Party
Reform Party
U.S. Taxpayers Party
Natural Law Party

The Virtual Community of Associations
National Lobbyist Directory
American League of Lobbyists


Political Resources, Inc. Campaigns& Elections
Yahoo links


Cato Institute
Heritage Foundation
National Center for Policy Analysis
Urban Institute
American Enterprise Institute
Brookings Institution


Pew Charitable Trusts
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Markle Foundation
The Foundation Center


National Press Club
National Association of Broadcasters
Newspaper Association of America
Media Research Center
Center for Media and Public Affairs


National Civic League
Idealist (Action Without Borders)
America's Promise


The Annenberg Public Policy Center--University of Pennsylvania
John F. Kennedy School of Government--Harvard University  Institute of Politics  PRG
The Graduate School of Political Management--The George Washington University
Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies--American University
American Political Science Association


Political Resources on the Net
Political Site of the Day