The resources and the breadth of the organization make it singular in American politics: an operation conducted outside the campaign finance system, employing an array of groups aimed at stopping what its financiers view as government overreach. Members of the coalition target different constituencies but together have mounted attacks on the new health-care law, federal spending and environmental regulations.
Happy Friday! Sunlight’s Party Time Tumblr is urging you to make like Congress today and shake your moneymaker. It’s a visual we can get down with.
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.
Extra-special: Sunlight gave a small grant to help the Internet Archive’s TV news project in 2012. :)
Sunlight Cities, one of our sister tumblrs, continues to post very cool things.
Tis the season of snow plow data!
via Open City
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.
As the nation prepares to mark a grim anniversary this week, the Sunlight Foundation is using its data resources to explore how the battle between gun rights and gun control groups has been waged across the country. Over the next three days, we’ll be presenting our findings in detail. One overall conclusion, however, is hard to avoid: Sandy Hook has meant more money for lobbyists and campaign consultants.
We’ll be posting more from the series on this blog. In the meantime, you can follow along with the series here: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/12/09/sandy-hook-one-year-later-lots-of-sound-and-money-little-action/