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 […]


Why is there no API for Virginia’s AMBER Alert system? I should be able to have all of my websites query their system every hour and, when an alert is found, display the content of the alert on every page on every site. Heck, I’d write a WordPress plugin so that anybody could easily deploy […]

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 […]

Virginia Laws.

I’ve been working on this for the last few months. There’s really nothing to see just yet, but, as when I was developing Richmond Sunlight, I think it’s better for me to spend time coding than bloviating. I just spent twenty minutes writing about the Delaware Senate race, realized that I’d said nothing original or […]

The Senate killed a bill to put their own voting records online. So I did it for them.

The Senate Rules Committee killed a bill today that would have put legislators’ voting records online. The House passed freshman Republican Jim LeMunyon’s HB778 overwhelmingly. But the Senate Rules Committee—overwhelmingly Democratic, incidentally—barely allowed it out of subcommittee, and then killed it on a 13-2 vote. Officially, they think it’d just be too darned hard to […]

Sen. Hurt is, in fact, the most partisan member of the senate.

I just finished adding a new feature to Richmond Sunlight—the ability to sort through legislators by a variety of attributes like location, race, sex, year they started in office, etc.—and when I was done, I found a bug. For some reason, my code was listing Sen. Robert Hurt as the most partisan Republican in the […]