That went better than expected.

That business of soliciting donations to buy the 2011 General Assembly session video? It took just under 46 hours for all of the money to be donated. A lot of it was donated by friends and regulars here. Larry Gross, Shaun Kenney, Jim Duncan, Craig Fifer, Kathy Mateer, Jeffrey Uphoff, Jeannine Lalonde, Bruce Roemmelt, Janis …

Legislative video sponsorships.

Richmond Sunlight has no video of the legislature for a single day of the 2010 session, since the site a) doesn’t have a budget and b) I didn’t raise any money. So, this year, I’m soliciting sponsors for every day’s video. The average day’s House and Senate video requires buying $18 worth of DVDs from …

CNS does it right.

Although it’s true that basically no media outlets bother to mention bill numbers when writing about legislation, I really have to give credit to the always-vital Capital News Service, run by Jeff South at the VCU School of Mass Communication. Every one of their articles about legislation provide bill numbers for every single bill that …

Memo to Virginia journalists.

Please start including bill numbers in your coverage of legislation. If you did that, then Richmond Sunlight would promote your coverage of that bill, prominently, on that bill’s page, as well as on pages about related bills. Media coverage is the only major component of the information ecosystem that simply can’t be incorporated into this …

McDonnell straps on his redistricting fig leaf.

Mere hours before this year’s short session of the General Assembly session, Gov. Bob McDonnell has finally decided to act on his campaign promise of bipartisan redistricting. Having allowed last year’s legislative session to go by without a word in favor of any of the bills that would have reformed redistricting—back when it would have …

2009 McDonnell vs. 2010 McDonnell.

Candidate Bob McDonnell, September 2009, on Governor Tim Kaine’s suggestion that state employees should contribute to their own retirement accounts: These are tough economic times. I understand the governor has been forced to make difficult decisions to balance the budget. As Attorney General, I made tough choices as well, cutting the office’s budget by 14% …

Photography is not a crime.

Near the top of my wish this for next month’s General Assembly session is a law explicitly authorizing citizens to videotape, photograph, and record audio of police officers in the line of duty. In the current issue of Reason, Radley Balko makes a powerful case for why this is important. In theory, this is the …

Richmond Sunlight’s JSON API.

I’ve just released v1.0 of the Richmond Sunlight API. It’s JSON-based, simple, and straightforward. This turns Richmond Sunlight into a web-based service that allows any application or website to get data about the General Assembly automatically and basically seamlessly. The most exciting bit, I think, is the Photosynthesis API. Now any individual or organization can …

McDonnell is attacking public broadcasting (again).

Gov. McDonnell is again proposing cutting all funding for public broadcasting, though this time he wants to eliminate all funding—$2M/year—that the state spends on this public/private partnership. State funding provides about 15% of the budget for most public broadcasters, with that state contribution serving as the kernel from which the stations raise money. Clearly this …

The unstructured structure of the Code of Virginia.

The structure of § 1-401 of the Code of Virginia is broken down into five sections: A, B, C, D, and E. The structure of § 1-402 is broken down into nine sections: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Why two entirely different schemas? I have no idea. I’m starting to …