Who are the presidential candidates this year and what have they done for you?
I often wonder why voters vote against their best interests. It’s because they don’t pay enough attention. They may not even know who is representing them in Washington or in their state capitals.
Let’s look at some easy ways to research political candidates on all levels of government. First let’s find our state congressmen and women. To do this I google “(name of state) state congress representatives.”
For instance, I live in Michigan, so I google “Michigan state congress representatives.” I notice there are sites for both the Michigan senate and the Michigan House of Representatives. Let’s start with the House of Representatives. The first thing I notice when I go to house.michigan.gov is a picture of the Michigan Speaker of the House, Kevin Cotter. This is an important contact because the Speaker decides which bills are voted on and when. So I copy his information. I also found an organizational chart with extra phone numbers. Now I know who the Democrat and Republican leaders in my state are.
Don’t get overwhelmed by all the information. Most of us don’t have the time to follow everything that happens in our state or national government. Right now we just want to know who represents us, and how to contact him or her.
There is a link on the Michigan House page “Find your Representative.” I click on this link, and then put in my zip code. My representative is Jim Townsend. I not only get his name, but a link to his website. I can look up Congressman’s Townsend’s voting record and I can easily see a list of issues that affect Michiganders and Congressman’s Townsend’s stand on those issues.
Besides having a representative in the Michigan house, I also have a senator representing me in the state capital. I go to senate.michigan.gov and I notice a link called “Find Your Senator.” I put in my zip code. My state senator is Marty Knollenberg. There’s a link to his web page. Most congressmen send emails to their constituents. It’s easy to get on their lists.
I don’t always have time to read newsletters when they come to my inbox, but I try to always scroll down and read at least a few lines of each paragraph.
Now that I know who represents me in my state, I can go to congres.gov, and find out who represents me in Washington, D.C.
When elections happen, I am likely to visit their web sites and study their records.
If you have any questions, please email me.