New Politics Features
Over the past few months, washingtonpost.com has added the following new features to our politics section. These features are designed to make our coverage of politics more useful to our readers by providing access to more information on elected officials and candidates, and by better explaining the political process.
Updates to the Congressional Votes Database
Launched last December, the Congressional Votes Database includes overall roll call vote totals and the individual voting records for all members of Congress dating back to 1991.
On individual members' pages within the database, we've added official biographies and a link to a PDF version of each member's annual financial disclosure statement (senators and congressmen are required to list all their assets and investments). The disclosure statements are also available via an index page that lists each member of Congress who has filed a statement.
Other additions to members' pages include links to recent Washington Post and washingtonpost.com articles on individual lawmakers, and if a member of Congress is currently involved in a competitive election, we provide a link to a "Key Race" profile page. In addition to information on senators and representatives, we've added a full demographic profile for each lawmaker's state or district.
For readers interested in the most important congressional votes, reporters and editors at The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com collaborated on a list of "Key Votes" cast during the 109th Congress. These are votes on the bills, nominations and resolutions that deal with the most important and/or most politically divisive issues. Each Key Vote includes an explanation of the legislation in question and analysis of its political impact. Individual Key Votes pages are also available for each member of Congress.
For those interested in following daily business at the U.S. Capitol, we have created a daily schedule for both houses of Congress. This schedule includes floor action and committee meetings and hearings -- along with meeting times and room numbers.
Key Race Pages
Since our 2006 Key Race pages were first published in January, we have steadily added new features and new information. Now -- in addition to analysis of the race, a state political profile, and mini-profiles of the candidates -- we've included full campaign finance data for each candidate and the demographic profiles of each candidate's district or state. The campaign finance information is provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and is based on quarterly campaign finance reports candidates make to the Federal Election Commission. The demographic data is based on the 2000 U.S. census. Each Key Race page also includes the race's primary date and primary results (when available).
Readers who want to stay up to date on washingtonpost.com Key Race analysis may subscribe to a Key Races RSS feed.
We also have a simple calendar of state primary dates.
The Post Politics Hour
The launch of Washington Post Radio in the D.C. area has provided an opportunity to offer our audience more analysis and insight from Washington Post and washingtonpost.com political writers and editors. Each week, barring preemption by a Washington Nationals baseball game, host Sam Litzinger hosts a political roundtable discussion with Post staffers and invited newsmakers. The program is broadcast live on Thursdays at 1 p.m. ET on 107.7 FM or 1500 AM in the Washington area and is available anytime, worldwide, via podcast:
The Fix Podcast
washingtonpost.com political writer and analyst Chris Cillizza, author of washingtonpost.com's political blog, The Fix, now podcasts a twice-monthly program that includes interviews with top 2008 presidential contenders and occasional analysis of how the 2008 race is shaping up.
The politics section on washingtonpost.com now includes a "Top Stories" and "RSS & Podcasts" subscription box at the bottom of each article. The top stories feature allows readers to view the top 35 most-read politics articles in the section, while the RSS & Podcast provides links to our two politics podcasts as well as RSS feeds of our best articles, columns, and blogs.
We will also soon begin linking more frequently from politics news articles to the Congressional Votes Database. The first reference of a lawmaker's name in an article will link to his or her respective entry in the database, allowing users to see the biography, financial disclosure statement, and voting record of the lawmakers written about by The Post and washingtonpost.com.
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