Tech support: Who to call in Congress

TechCrunch rates lawmakers on their alignment with tech industry lobbyists.

Just in time for the election, TechCrunch has launched a leaderboard rating members of Congress seeking reelection based on how closely their votes align with tech industry priorities.

The board assigns B through D grades to legislators based on their stance on three bills affecting issues where TechCrunch found a clear consensus among industry lobbyists: high skills immigration, crowdfunding and the Stop Online Piracy Act. Administrators bumped some legislators up to an A or down to an F based on consultation with industry leaders.

Grading on just three bills is a little thin for a full view of lawmakers’ support for the tech industry. And aligning with tech industry lobbyists, of course, is far from the same thing as supporting technology and innovation itself. The leaderboard shows promise, though, as a cheat sheet to help review candidates’ records on a narrow topic.

It’s also a reminder of how broad-based support for a single industry or sector rarely breaks down along strict party lines.

A’s on the list go to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., among others. F’s are reserved for three Republicans: Reps. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., both SOPA sponsors, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a sponsor of SOPA’s Senate counterpart, the Protect [Intellectual Property] Act. Numerous Democrats earned D ratings, however.