The sons of two high-profile current and former New Mexico politicos have launched a business start-up that aims to help clients navigate the byzantine congressional legislative process and learn more about members’ public policy priorities.
Alex Wirth, son of state Sen. Peter Wirth, and Joshua Hone, son of former Rep. Heather Wilson, on Monday announced Quorum, “an online legislative strategy platform that offers unique quantitative insights into the U.S. Congress,” according to a company press release.
Quorum will feature interactive visuals and up-to-date statistics for each member of Congress, legislative bill, vote, committee, issue area and congressional district.
The firm has already lined up some major early support, including prominent D.C.-based lobbying and law firm Holland & Knight, and The Glover Park Group, an influential lobbying and communications shop founded by former Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart. The United Nations Foundation’s Better World Campaign, The First Focus Campaign for Children, and The Navajo Nation are also early clients. Quorum is charging $4,800 a year for a single user log-in subscription that can be shared among everyone at a particular organization.
Wirth, the company’s co-founder, is a Santa Fe native and graduate of Santa Fe Prep. He is currently a senior at Harvard University studying government and economics. Jonathan Marks, a classmate of Wirth’s at Harvard is the company’s co-founder. Hone attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque before graduating from the Early College Academy. Hone, the company’s director of business development, is a sophomore at George Washington University in Washington. Wirth and Hone are both 21-years-old.
The company claims that the platform’s algorithms process over 800 million data points collected from bills, votes, amendments, floor statements, press releases, tweets, and Census Bureau statistics “to give users access to quantitative member and issue profiles, interactive demographic data, and state-of-the-art productivity tools.” The site will also offer statistics on the top issues that each member sponsors, cosponsors, or amends legislation on, as well as information on the members they cosponsor, vote with, tweet at, or mention most frequently.
“Quorum provides quantitative answers to what have previously been qualitative questions about members’ legislative priorities and most frequent collaborators,” Wirth said.
“We’re excited to be able to not only aggregate data from a wide variety of congressional sources, but also to organize, analyze, and present it in a way that’s never been done before,” Marks added.
The company’s launch has some veteran politics observers excited. Maggie Williams, director of the Harvard University Institute of Politics, is undoubtedly rooting for her school’s students, but she lavished serious praise on the site, calling it a “dream come true.”
“Quorum harnesses congressional data in the blink of an eye,” Williams said. “It is a window into the world of lawmaking – corralling volumes of legislative information into a readable, manageable form. For Congress-watchers, Quorum is a dream come true.”