The Obama administration may have raised the profile of transparency, but sometimes by making it worse,” he said. “Instead of taking real action, it has focused efforts on prosecuting whistle-blowers, embracing more money in our political system and permitting political review of requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

Sunlight’s policy director, John Wonderlich, speaks to Bloomberg about the Obama administration’s record on transparency.

Our design team is already busy prepping for our annual Open House party. Each year around Halloween we turn Sunlight HQ into a hellish landscape of apocalyptic tech and other horrors. Then we open the doors and welcome anyone and everyone who wants to hang out! It’s pretty great.
If you live anywhere near DC, Virginia or Maryland, you can be among the first to learn about the date and time of this year’s Open House by signing up for our email list (don’t forget to fill in your home address!). 
But we’ll also be posting details on this Tumblr, so never fear…

Our design team is already busy prepping for our annual Open House party. Each year around Halloween we turn Sunlight HQ into a hellish landscape of apocalyptic tech and other horrors. Then we open the doors and welcome anyone and everyone who wants to hang out! It’s pretty great.

If you live anywhere near DC, Virginia or Maryland, you can be among the first to learn about the date and time of this year’s Open House by signing up for our email list (don’t forget to fill in your home address!). 

But we’ll also be posting details on this Tumblr, so never fear…

Posted 3 weeks ago
11 notes

The notion of dark money was first introduced in a 2010 report from the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit group that calls for greater transparency in government. Originally, the term referred to funds of undisclosed origin being used to influence elections.

#Humblebrag?

We couldn’t resist posting this quote from National Review, which cites our coinage of the term “dark money” — a term that references, as NR points out,  the anonymous political spending that floods our elections each cycle.

Sadly, the article also goes on to defend the right of anonymous financial influence in politics and the various tactics both the left and the right utilize to keep undisclosed flowing into the system. To which we would say: Mmmm… no. 

Women make up more than half the U.S. population, less than one fourth of U.S. House witnesses
From the Sunlight Foundation blog:

Women are underrepresented in Congress in more ways than one, a new analysis by the Sunlight Foundation finds: Of the more than 5,000 witnesses called to testify before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives during the current congressional session, fewer than one quarter have been female. 

Read the full story here: http://snlg.ht/1trlxOZ

Women make up more than half the U.S. population, less than one fourth of U.S. House witnesses

From the Sunlight Foundation blog:

Women are underrepresented in Congress in more ways than one, a new analysis by the Sunlight Foundation finds: Of the more than 5,000 witnesses called to testify before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives during the current congressional session, fewer than one quarter have been female

Read the full story here: http://snlg.ht/1trlxOZ

Posted 1 month ago
74 notes

What can we learn from 800,000 public comments on the FCC’s net neutrality plan?

From the Sunlight Foundation blog:

On Aug. 5, the Federal Communications Commission announced the bulk release of the comments from its largest-ever public comment collection. We’ve spent the last three weeks cleaning and preparing the data and leveraging our experience in machine learning and natural language processing to try and make sense of the hundreds-of-thousands of comments in the docket.

Some key findings:

  • We estimate that less than 1 percent of comments were clearly opposed to net neutrality.

  • At least 60 percent of comments submitted were form letters written by organized campaigns (484,692 comments); while these make up the majority of comments, this is actually a lower percentage than is common for high-volume regulatory dockets.

  • At least 200 comments came from law firms, on behalf of themselves or their clients.

For the rest of the analysis - and to dig into the data yourself - head to the full Sunlight blog post here.

Ready to break bread with Hillary? Be prepared to throw down $10K worth of dough!

politicalpartytime:

Will she or won’t she? Hill-Hill may be taking her time on the question of 2016, but one thing is for certain: the anticipation certainly isn’t hurting her stock.

The DSCC’s Women’s Senate Network just announced a new fundraiser with Hillary on the marquee. The funder is to take place at…

Yowza. (Via our sister Tumblog that tracks the wild universie of political fundraisers: Political Party Time)

sunlightcities:

Check out all these ways to interact with housing data in Baltimore 

sunlightcities:

Check out all these ways to interact with housing data in Baltimore 

Reblogged 2 months ago from sunlightcities
14 notes
thisiscitylab:

The blog that mines NYC’s massive data clearinghouse to visualize issues facing city dwellers, from education to eating.

thisiscitylab:

The blog that mines NYC’s massive data clearinghouse to visualize issues facing city dwellers, from education to eating.

Reblogged 2 months ago from sunlightcities
23 notes

What does 1 year+ of political ads look like?

Sunlight examined every political ad contract from April 2013 to June 2014 and found that candidates and outside groups dropped over $4.6 million in that time frame.

A Sunlight Foundation analysis of 14 months worth of contracts at CBS affiliate KYW provides a glimpse at the relentlessness with which voters in key markets are bombarded with political messages — and intriguing details about how office seekers, political parties and other interest groups target them.

Read the full analysis on the Sunlight Foundation blog.

Courting donors in the dark: Mapping Obama’s closed door fundraisers

From our sister tumblr, Political Party Time:

From the Sunlight Foundation blog: 

Although President Barack Obama’s administration touts its support of an open and transparent government, there’s been a glaring exception: opening up political fundraisers to the pool of White House reporters who trail the president. So far, in 2014, President Obama has headlined 41 political fundraisers, according to data from Party Time. Of those parties, the press has been shut out of almost half – 19, to be exact.

In Washington lobbying, pro-Keystone XL advocates dwarf pipeline opponents

When looking at inside-the-Beltway influence, pro-Keystone XL advocates outnumber pipeline opponents by a wide margin.

Of the top 10 sectors lobbying on the pipeline, nine support building it - only environmental groups are opposed.

Read more about the influence behind the Keystone XL pipeline: http://snlg.ht/1rXBor4

How Birth Year Influences Political Views
From The New York Times:

A new model of presidential voting suggests President Obama’s approval rating — currently in the low 40s — will inform not only the 2016 election, but also the election in 2076. The model, by researchers at Catalist, the Democratic data firm, and Columbia University, uses hundreds of thousands of survey responses and new statistical software to estimate how people’s preferences change at different stages of their lives.

How Birth Year Influences Political Views

From The New York Times:

new model of presidential voting suggests President Obama’s approval rating — currently in the low 40s — will inform not only the 2016 election, but also the election in 2076. The model, by researchers at Catalist, the Democratic data firm, and Columbia University, uses hundreds of thousands of survey responses and new statistical software to estimate how people’s preferences change at different stages of their lives.

Posted 3 months ago
12 notes