New search engine linking lawmakers, constituents launches … literally

rocket lobby 2 (Large)

A powerful new tool to make state lawmakers more responsive to constituents launched Thursday — literally.

Rocket Lobby, a free legislative accountability search engine from public relations firm CATE COMM, reached the stratosphere with its logo attached to a high-altitude weather balloon. Video of the launch is available on YouTube. allows anyone in the United States to find, email, call, or request meetings with state lawmakers – as well as grade responsiveness with an anonymous Amazon or Yelp-style 1-to-5 star rating.

“We’ve finally figured out a way to reward or publicly shame lawmakers into responding to constituent calls, emails, and meeting requests,” said CATE COMM founder Kevin Cate. “Advocacy groups can also now send out one link to their advocates and know they will be able to find the right state lawmakers to contact – and get a response.”

Damian Cardona Jr., a CATE COMM developer and producer based in Orlando, developed Rocket Lobby, using the Sunlight Foundation’s Open States API.

“ is the most powerful engagement tool ever available to citizens seeking to connect with state lawmakers,” Cate said. “You have to see it. It’s beautiful. It’s responsive. And it’s effective because we have an accountability tool built into it: public responsiveness grades for lawmakers.”

Premium versions of Rocket Lobby are also available, allowing custom, embedded versions for advocacy groups, coalitions, nonprofits, and corporations: a service that can provide actionable data on residents’ contacts with state lawmakers. Users of the paid edition can also get information on custom questions, such as the likelihood a specific lawmaker will support an issue.

CATE COMM, based in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando, also offers the popular Above The Fold, a daily digest of newspaper front pages delivered to newsmakers  in Florida and nationwide.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached at [email protected]

One comment

  • Jim Bleyer

    September 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Only the rating system makes this vehicle worthwhile…and even that’s not a slam dunk in FL where legislators won’t even respond to the overwhelmingly supported land acquisition amendment.

Comments are closed.


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