Publius threads 

If, like News Hits, your mind tends toward the gutter, you might think an outfit calling itself is one the Internet’s billion or so (we’re still counting as part of an ongoing, in-depth research project) porn sites. In fact, the purpose of this nonprofit group is among the most virtuous we can imagine: support of the democratic process.

The group was founded back in 1996 to “explore the impact of the Internet on democracy and develop Web-based tools to enhance the exchange of ideas and information.”

As for the name Publius, it dates back to Roman times, and if our high-school Latin teacher is to be believed, shares linguistic roots with the word public.

We bring all of this forward today because many of you will be venturing forth to the polls next week and may be in need of some assistance.

If so, Publius is ready, willing and more than able to provide you with a remarkable array of info. Punch up the Web site, type in your name, and if you are a registered voter, you’ll be told exactly where it is you can cast your vote next Tuesday, and which candidates and ballot measures you’ll be voting on. You’ll even be informed about the exact type of voting equipment you’ll be encountering, along with instructions on how to use it. The state’s Secretary of State Office is assisting in the effort.

Speaking of the SOS, News Hits can’t resist making note of the current race to determine who’ll next head that illustrious office.

Specifically, we’d like to mention candidate Melvin “Butch” Hollowell, and the endorsement he obtained from Between the Lines, a newspaper serving, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.

The paper, in its special election edition, praised Hollowell’s depth of experience and his support for including sexual orientation in the hate crimes prevention act and the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act. But all the Hollowell signs at August’s Democratic convention didn’t hurt, BTL notes. You know, the ones that said “Big on Butch.” Hollowell, writes BTL, “feigned ignorance of the cultural lingo.”

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