BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, April 5 2013
A new service from LegiStorm promises to aggregate tweets from congressional staffers along with those of lawmakers themselves, the company announced on its DevBlog last week. The service, called StormFeed, "makes available every tweet and press release of Congress in real time." Politico reports that this has drawn the ire of some Congressional staffers — some of whom were already irked at the way LegiStorm makes their salaries and job titles, which are public record under disclosure laws, easily available. Read More
BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 9 2013
For all the chatter about how many Facebook likes or Twitter followers politicians have, I've never seen a news organization or website pay any attention to how many voters each Member of the House of Representatives has. It turns out that some Members are much more popular than others, based on their actual vote totals in 2012. Read More
BY Nick Judd and Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, September 19 2012
The Library of Congress today unveiled beta.congress.gov, a new web platform offering legislative information that is expected to eventually replace the existing THOMAS system and the congressional Legislative Information System.
House leadership has promised to offer access to the underlying data that fuels THOMAS and has repeatedly expressed a commitment to doing it. They just haven't committed to doing it during this Congress. And the lack of action on something that seems to them to be eminently doable has advocates kind of frustrated.
Gayle Osterberg, Director of Communications for the Library of Congress, seemed to indicate in an email that the Library of Congress is ready to cooperate. They just need Congress — meaning the House and Senate both — to give them the go-ahead.Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, August 16 2012
Various tweets by House members reacting to Rep. Paul Ryan's selection as the Republican vice presidential nominee may have violated Congressional rules, the Sunlight Foundation* reports. Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, June 19 2012
Bridget Coyne, digital director for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sean Evins, a staffer on the House Administration Committee, are moving to the Twitter Government and Politics team, according to a tweet from @gov. Politico had reported Evins' move last week. He told Politico Influence that he would be "acting as a liaison between Twitter and elected officials and helping them better communicate with their constituents." Read More
BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 15 2012
The Republican House leadership is experimenting with tools that might make it easier for members of Congress to more easily understand what all the emails they get in a day really mean. There are also tools that track messages headed outbound towards Congress, like PopVox, that hope to give perspective on what representatives are hearing from the outside looking in. In this video, Dan Beckmann from the technology firm ib5k describes how his company's platform, Correlate, is designed to solve one aspect of the problem. It is now in use by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer — a Democrat — and may appear elsewhere within House leadership soon, Beckmann says. Read More
BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 1 2012
When John Boehner promised at the start of his turn as House Speaker to make the House of Representatives far more transparent, and to use technology to do it, advocates for an easier-to-understand Congress were cautiously optimistic. But House Republicans are poised to take a move that transparency advocates see as kicking the can down the road on the single most crucial thing the 112th Congress could do to open up the business of lawmaking. Read More
BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 5 2012
What is the flood of emails pouring into Congress doing to national politics? Matt Glassman, an adjunct professor of political science at Catholic University, thinks it might be creating reasons for individual members to focus less on local politics and more on attention-getting national issues. Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, March 22 2012
BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, February 28 2012
Using the Sunlight Foundation's* Capitol Words API, independent analytics consultant Dan Kozikowski has put together a look at the vocabulary of each member of Congress and mapped the results on a Google map.
By his analysis, the most loquacious legislator in the House of Representatives is Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, who holds a bachelor's degree from Yale and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Kozikowski also looked for words said only once in Congress by members of each party since 1996, which is as far back as the data available through Sunlight goes. (Sunlight gets its data from the Congressional Record.)Read More