When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

29 August 2007

Objective data about politicians

As often happens here, a comment on a post inspires an actual post. In the discussion re Larry Craig, reader Dan asks:
Are you aware of any easy to interpret web sites that rate politicians based on their voting records in a non-partisan fashion?
Partisan rankings, of course, abound; every interest group worth its salt will assign voting scores to Congresscritters based on their pet issues, and by taking these scores in the aggregate, one can often assemble a meaningful picture of how a representative votes. (Of course, if you're like me and would prefer to support politicians who have good track records in supporting both citizens' rights *and* fiscal probity, you're, um, kinda screwed.)


My suggestion was a Dead Tree publication called The Almanac of American Politics, published every two years by National Journal, which lists key votes in the House and Senate in a dispassionate and nonpartisan fashion. (It's available in electronic form to National Journal subscribers, but that is a very expensive subscription indeed... they don't even list the annual rate on the site.)

Doc had what is likely to be the most practical suggestion for free, web-based information:
[T]ry Project Vote Smart. I think it'll provide what you need.
Project Vote Smart does indeed look to be a terrific resource.

Other ideas, anybody?

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