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Tag Archive: Congresspedia

Two Great Sites That Go Well Together

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Following the money just got easier. MAPLight.org (a Sunlight grantee) and Congresspedia, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy and Sunlight, just joined forces to bring their data together so you can learn more about members of Congress all in one place.

Now, when you are looking up lawmakers on MAPLight.org’s Legislator pages, click on the new Congresspedia Tab (example) to get background and source information without having to leave MAPLight.org’s site.

This is another great step toward creating more merged data streams to make it easier than ever to shine Sunlight on Congress.

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The Nice Polite Campaign to Gently Encourage Parliament to Publish Bills in a 21st Century Way, Please. Now.

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It's quite surprising, but the UK's House of Commons does not put the text of its bills on the Web in a user-friendly manner, making it bloody difficult -- as they would say -- for British citizens to know what's really going on in Parliament when it comes to legislating.

Earlier today, our friends at MySociety.org, the U.K.-based nonprofit that builds Web sites to open up government and its services to benefit citizens, launched a campaign to convince Parliament to embrace the Internet Age.

The goal of the Free Our Bills campaign is to have Parliament put the text of bills online. The effort is titled "The Nice Polite Campaign to Gently Encourage Parliament to Publish Bills in a 21 Century Way, Please. Now." (We'll give it an award for simply being the best named campaign ever.) How polite and British. (American style would be something like "Just Do It.")

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Help with Congresspedia’s new SuperDelegate Project

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Congresspedia has just teamed up with LiteraryOutpost.com, OpenLeft and DemConWatch to shed light on to the presidential nominating process with the new SuperDelegate Transparency Project. This project gives citizens the power -- via the Congresspedia wiki -- to collectively compile primary and caucus results -- congressional district by congressional district. The aim of this project is to compare where the elected delegates stand versus the pledges that the SuperDelegates have made. This is the only project currently tracking this kind of information at the district level.

But this project is really your project and it won't be successful without your help. Come collaborate and help compile the district-by-district results of the popular vote and pledged delegates. Add what you know about the SuperDelegates' position too.

This is a great opportunity for you to help bring transparency and accountability to the Democratic National Convention by providing citizens with information on how the SuperDelegates could affect the outcome of the nomination. Sign up here to get started.

Let's shine some light on the process!

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It’s All Starting to Come Together

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Dan Newman, of MAPLight (and Sunlight grantee) writes to say:

We just added links to OpenCongress from every bill on MAPLight. It's part of our new "In the News" tab. For example click here.The link to the same bill on OpenCongress is just above the "Date" column on the right-hand side.

We also created a simple URL structure to make it easy for OpenCongress and others to link to specific bills on MAPLight. (Inbound links like this now work.

We're also in the process of integrating Congresspedia entries into MAPLight's legislator pages, pending some changes on the Congresspedia side to make this technically workable.

 And David Moore, of OpenCongress responds saying:

 We're happily in the midst of adding reciprocal links on our bill pages. Shouldn't be long.

This is great stuff. Check it the interconnections between these two sites.

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Widget Week

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Earlier this week we talked about all the cool new applications over at OpenCongress.org (which are really taking off), and today we're delighted to tell you that MAPLight.org has produced some new widgets that allow you to track fundraising for over 1,500 congressional candidates. These widgets are perfect for blogs, social networking pages, and personal Web sites, and they are completely customizable according to the candidates you are interested in.

The congressional money race widgets follow MAPLight.org's August release of presidential money race widgets that allow users to track funds raised by presidential candidates.

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“Wiki the Vote” on Congresspedia

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We’re launching something new over at Congresspedia.org today -- "Wiki the Vote," a project to build citizen-written profiles on each and every candidate for Congress in 2008.

This project gives you the tools you need to research candidates and share your knowledge on the records, agendas and influences of congressional incumbents and challengers. We started with nearly 300 basic profiles to be expanded and updated by citizens, journalists and even the campaigns themselves (or those of their opponents). Unlike Wikipedia, people connected to the subjects of articles are free to add to them as long as their contributions are rhetoric-free and comprised of fully documented, verifiable facts. The citizen editors are assisted and fact-checked by professional editors.

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