With my incredible interns helping with research, I wrote a massive recap of congressional primaries on Tuesday – seven states and the District of Columbia held nominating elections that day (you can read the preview here).
The wrap up was so long we decided to split it into three sections:
- New England (Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vemont)
- Mid-Atlantic (Washington D.C. and New York)
- Midwestern (Minnesota and Wisconsin)
The three pieces probably don’t have everything you would ever want to know about the candidates in each state, but there’s still a wealth of information there if you’re interested. Of course, you most of this information was pulled from the profiles built by Congresspedia’s citizen-journalists, all part of our Wiki the Vote project.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog entry over on Huffington Post about the need for new congressional rules that would let members of Congress use the same social tools that their constituents are using: Facebook, Youtube, blogs, etc. It was all part of the Sunlight Foundation‘s campaign, Let our Congress Tweet. While we used Twitter (the online social networking/microblogging site that limits your posts to 140 characters) as an example, we’re concerned that members of Congress should be able to use all the services technology offers.
Over at Congresspedia, we’re starting to track the members of Congress who are using Twitter. We’ve compiled a list of 29 members thus far, and we’re always on the look out for others. One neat trick we’re offering: for those members who are using Twitter, you can read their latest posts right on the Congressedia profile.
Rep. Tom Udall was one of the first to adopt the service, and his campaign has been quick to embrace blogging and other aspects of the Web as well. You can see his Congresspedia profile here, complete with his most recent “tweets” from Twitter.
If you know of any other members of Congress using Twitter (or congressional candidates for that matter) please let us know!
Sunlight has a new initiative up and running, and if you use Twitter (or other social services, like Facebook or YouTube) you should take notice. I blogged about it over at Huffington Post:
The full value of politicians using social networks and technology is still up for debate — are they just “repackaging,” or can these new tools really help bridge the divide between elected officials and their constituents? These questions will remain unanswered unless Congress establishes new rules over members’ use of the Internet.
The current atmosphere is a mixture of formal rules developed in the 90s and ad hoc advisory opinions, all designed around franking regulations, which usually govern traditional media like mail and television. Interactive services like Facebook, YouTube and Friendfeed are so dissimilar to these older methods that the rules no longer makes sense.