The Sunlight Foundation scoured its Political Party Time database for political fundraisers held at concerts in 2013. And boy did we hit the jackpot: From pop princess Taylor Swift to Queen Bey, Carole King and the Rolling Stones, politicians of all stripes used the opportunity of marquee names and VIP suites to shake their moneymakers.
This, then, is a playlist of some of the songs — about money, of course — that we imagine pols heard in the process.
We are excited to unveil a couple experimental data-driven visualizations that literally map 400,000 hours of U.S. television news. One of our collaborating scholars, Kalev Leetaru, applied “fulltext geocoding” software to our entire television news research service collection.
The tale of last year’s post-Sandy Hook gun control fight in two graphs: a debate full of sound, fury and money.
Lobbying (Graph 1): In an attempt to seize the momentum after the events in Newtown, advocates for gun control went on a K Street hiring spree, upping their lobbying expenditures fivefold. But it wasn’t even close: The NRA alone outspent the entire gun control industry in 2013.
Outside spending (Graph 2): Out-gunned in Washington, independent spending groups like Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC took their message of gun control to broadcast markets across the U.S. as the Senate considered a gun control bill with new background checks.
Advocates for gun control spent millions of dollars to get their word out about gun control issues (the exact amount is obscured, thanks to lax broadcasting disclosure laws). The vote in the Senate failed to materialize due to opposition led by Republicans and conservative Democrats.