How 60,000 bills attempted to become a law — in one graph.
via Sunlight’s blog.

How 60,000 bills attempted to become a law — in one graph.

via Sunlight’s blog.

Posted 2 months ago
10 notes

Revolvers’ Dollars: The Cash Behind K Street

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It’s a well-known Washington truism that the place to get rich is on #KStreet. But if you really want to strike it big, head through the revolving door.

That’s because lobbyists with government experience most likely make three times as much as those without it - and significantly more than a member of Congress.

Explore the cash behind K Street in Sunlight’s new series - Revolvers’ Dollars: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2014/01/21/revolving-door-lobbyists-government-experience/

Liz Cheney And The Family Business: A Chart of All Congressional Dynasties

From Time’s Swampland blog:

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” on Sunday, former vice president Dick Cheney was bullish on his daughter Liz’s chances of winning the Republican Senate primary in Wyoming next summer, stating flatly that she is “going to win.”  The younger Cheney is challenging three-term senator Mike Enzi in a much-watched race that won’t be decided until August.

A poll with a sample size of one consisting of the candidate’s father is bound to have a few statistical weaknesses. Should Dick Cheney’s prophecy come true, however, his daughter will have amble company in the fraternity of lawmakers with relatives who served in past or present congresses.

According to TIME’s analysis of the Congressional Biographical Directory, which includes family relationships between past and present lawmakers, there are 37 current members who have a relative who served in Congress. Here, those lineages are arranged in a chart from newest to oldest names.

We interrupt your normally scheduled dataviz to present our brand new sister site - The Political Party Time Tumblr! Take a look and give it a follow!

politicalpartytime:

Hello, Partiers!

Welcome to the official Political Party Time Tumblr - the brand new social extension of the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time project.

For the better part of five years, Political Party Time has sought to accomplish one goal: to shed a healthy dose of sunlight on one of the more mysterious practices of the U.S. Congress — raising money.

From the early hours of the morning until late in the evening, politicians are breaking bread and sipping cocktails with donors. Sunlight’s Party Time lets you know who’s fundraising and where. 

The Political Party Time website is a catalog of crowdsourced political invitations that we collect from citizens, journalists and insiders alike. That quote above is our motto — our mission statement.

[SIDE NOTE: Got a hot ticket to a fundraiser you want to share? Click that envelope in the top-right corner. That’s right: the one that moves. Don’t be shy now! (You can also click here.)]

As an extension of that project, our mission on Tumblr is even simpler: to bring this clandestine world right to your Internets, and to do it in a way that Tumblr does best: with all the ‘notable’ content we can muster. 

 

Looking for a photographic representation of what a politician’s Teeni Weeni Bikini Martini party might look like? We’ll show you. Or how about what happens when you go into the Bayou with Sen. David Vitter? Or when pols party with Justin BieberBeyonce or THE BOSS? We’ll have all that, plus more.  

 

Stay tuned!

Why gun control faces an uphill battle in the Senate

As the Senate prepares to take up the first major gun control debate since last December’s shooting massacre in Connecticut, a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the political pressures on 26 key senators paints a pessimistic picture for passage.
Absent a major pressure campaign to push senators to support gun control legislation, the political calculus points against the Senate passing any reform.

Why gun control faces an uphill battle in the Senate

As the Senate prepares to take up the first major gun control debate since last December’s shooting massacre in Connecticut, a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the political pressures on 26 key senators paints a pessimistic picture for passage.

Absent a major pressure campaign to push senators to support gun control legislation, the political calculus points against the Senate passing any reform.

Posted 1 year ago
7 notes

Docket Wrench: Exposing Trends in Regulatory Comments

Public policy doesn’t stop when Congress passes a bill and the president signs it. Laws include rules and regulations that become the responsibility of agencies within the executive branch to write. 
The Sunlight Foundation’s new Docket Wrench tool helps you at this stage of policy making.
Before an agency finalizes a proposed rule, there is a period of public commenting, which many special interests in Washington use to wield their influence beyond the halls of Congress. This exertion of influence in the rulemaking process has, for the most part, taken place outside the public eye. 
Until now.
Docket Wrench makes following this influence easier by providing a suite of tools to help researchers and members of the public delve into regulatory comments. Users can search more than 3.5 million regulatory documents to see how companies, interest groups and NGOs submit public comments on proposed rules, with many also linked to their profile on Sunlight’s Influence Explorer. Docket Wrench’s visualization feature groups textually similar documents together to help find evidence of form letter campaigns by these groups.
Open up DocketWrench

Docket Wrench: Exposing Trends in Regulatory Comments

Public policy doesn’t stop when Congress passes a bill and the president signs it. Laws include rules and regulations that become the responsibility of agencies within the executive branch to write. 

The Sunlight Foundation’s new Docket Wrench tool helps you at this stage of policy making.

Before an agency finalizes a proposed rule, there is a period of public commenting, which many special interests in Washington use to wield their influence beyond the halls of Congress. This exertion of influence in the rulemaking process has, for the most part, taken place outside the public eye. 

Until now.

Docket Wrench makes following this influence easier by providing a suite of tools to help researchers and members of the public delve into regulatory comments. Users can search more than 3.5 million regulatory documents to see how companies, interest groups and NGOs submit public comments on proposed rules, with many also linked to their profile on Sunlight’s Influence Explorer. Docket Wrench’s visualization feature groups textually similar documents together to help find evidence of form letter campaigns by these groups.

Open up DocketWrench

Posted 1 year ago
17 notes
Where Congress Stands on Guns

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, President Obama on Wednesday announced new national gun control measures. He has already urged members of Congress to do the same. Here is our comprehensive look at where lawmakers stand on guns, as well as political spending and voting history. Explore and share what you think Congress should do about guns in this country.

Where Congress Stands on Guns

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, President Obama on Wednesday announced new national gun control measures. He has already urged members of Congress to do the same. Here is our comprehensive look at where lawmakers stand on guns, as well as political spending and voting history. Explore and share what you think Congress should do about guns in this country.

Posted 1 year ago
55 notes
explore-blog:

The 113th Congress, by the numbers
(ᔥ The Atlantic)

explore-blog:

The 113th Congress, by the numbers

( The Atlantic)

Reblogged 1 year ago from explore-blog
1,087 notes

NRA’s allegiances reach deep into Congress

Just over half (51 percent) of the members of the new Congress that convenes next month have received funding from the National Rifle Association’s political action committee at some point in their political careers, an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation finds. And 47 percent received money from the NRA in the most recent race in which they ran.

The numbers give insight into the depth and breadth of support that the nation’s most powerful gun lobby commands. They also highlight the primary obstacle to quick action on gun control in response to last week’s massacre in Newton, Conn. – deep and long-lasting allegiances to the National Rifle Association.

When It Comes to Pay, All Feds Aren’t Created Equal


It comes as little surprise to hill watchers that House staff are underpaid compared to their Senate equivalents, let alone executive branch and private sector staff, but we decided to dig a bit deeper. Just in time for the holidays (and those non-existent public sector bonuses) here’s a comparison of key positions in the House, Senate, and executive branch. We admit that the data is a bit old, like the Ghost of the War on Christmas Past, but it’s the best we can do with what’s available.

When It Comes to Pay, All Feds Aren’t Created Equal

It comes as little surprise to hill watchers that House staff are underpaid compared to their Senate equivalents, let alone executive branch and private sector staff, but we decided to dig a bit deeper. Just in time for the holidays (and those non-existent public sector bonuses) here’s a comparison of key positions in the House, Senate, and executive branch. We admit that the data is a bit old, like the Ghost of the War on Christmas Past, but it’s the best we can do with what’s available.

Posted 1 year ago
5 notes
daily-infographic:

Beware dangerous cliff

daily-infographic:

Beware dangerous cliff

Reblogged 1 year ago from daily-infographic
21 notes