By: Maureen Groppe
Posted: March 19th, 2012
WASHINGTON — It doesn’t take a trip to Washington to get to know your lawmaker. Here are 10 things you can learn online:
1. Who is your representative?
Using your ZIP code, you can check Project Vote Smart’s website (www.vote-smart.org) for the names of your lawmakers.
2. What’s your lawmaker’s background?
Websites for the Senate (www.senate.gov) and House of Representatives (www.house.gov) have links to lawmakers’ official biographies, the committees they serve on, phone numbers and mailing addresses. Many also have their own Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts.
3. Where does your lawmaker get his or her campaign money?
The Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org) analyzes where candidates get their campaign money and how they spend it. Click on “Politicians & Elections” and follow the menu options.
4. How much is your lawmaker worth?
The clerk of the House and secretary of the Senate compile annual personal financial disclosure documents that give a sense of a lawmaker’s assets and income in broad ranges. The information is available at the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org). Click on “Politicians & Elections” and then “Personal Finances.”
5. What’s your lawmaker’s voting record?
6. Who pays for your lawmaker’s trips?
Go to www.legistorm.com/trip.html, then follow the menu options.