While the temperature in Las Vegas and Washington appeared similar during last week, the drastic divergence in humidity made the dry heat at Netroots Nation something to revel in. As someone lacking any experience at a Netroots (or Vegas) I was rather cautious with my expectations. I thought I would be one of the few first-timers at fifth annual conference, something that was recently described as a ‘big family reunion’, but I found it welcoming to not only to the numerous newbies, but to some healthy political debate. A number of my colleagues got to enjoy the nearby Right Online conference as well and you’ll be hearing more from them soon.
Among the many events I attended at Netroots I most remember the panel with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, where the Republican laid a quite progressive track for the future (pun intended) and a keynote discussion with Senator Harry Reid that covered everything from judicial nominations to spitballs. Most of all, Netroots offered a great opportunity to discuss the Sunlight Foundation’s work face-to-face with folks who were very engaged in politics, from casual bloggers to Hill staffers. It is always gratifying to find supporters of better government data being released in a more timely fashion and more usable formats. While I wasn’t able to make it over to Right Online, I’m sure my co-workers found a similar experience on that end.