TechCrunch launches Crunchgov to craft and pass better tech laws

Greg from TechCrunch sez,

TechCrunch has launched a beta version of a new technology policy
platform, Crunchgov. Crunchgov (beta) is designed to source the most
thoughtful people and ideas for the purpose of crafting smarter tech
policy. The tech industry is great at getting headlines for things
like SOPA but haven't been successful at passing laws–this leaves
them vulnerable to the status quo on education, immigration, IP and a
hot of other issues.

So, we designed two tools, which are both first for a media
organization as far as I know. One is a a report card – each House of
Representatives member (and soon Senators) are rated on how
their voting record aligns to the consensus interests of the
technology industry. To gage what consensus issues are, we surveyed
the top tech lobbies, which collectively represent most of industry.
Where they all agreed on a bill, we put it into our report.

We ended up with 3 bills: The Fairness in High
Skilled Immigrants Act, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), The JOBS
Act (crowdfunding for startups).

We also identified 10 congressmen, who were given As or Fs, based on
whether they were well-known champions or threats. This will help
citizens keep track of the most thoughtful people, and be warned when
known threats try to co-opt important issues, such as when SOPA author
Lamar Smith introduced a partisan immigration law destined to fail.

Second, integrated a crowdsourced legislative platform, Project
Madison, into our site, which was first designed by Darrell Issa's
office. Project Madison allows users to edit draft laws, line-by-line,
and vote on each suggestion. It's already been successful at
introducing legally specific ideas in the past, and we're confident
our nerdy readers can contribute thoughtful ideas. We're also speaking
with Google, Facebook and other big tech firms about how they can use
Project Madison to make public statements on laws while also being
productive. We'd like to end back-door negotiations in favor of
something more collaborative and transparent.

We're a media company, which represents the citizens of the tech
industry. We're trying to find new ways in which the media can
leverage information for government 2.0. This is our experiment and
we'd love feedback.