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

What happens when you take historic addresses from some of our most iconic presidents and mash them together to generate one (or many) mega-speech?

We call it the State of the Union Machine. And we think it’s the cure for the common address.

GIve it a spin!

Inside the $400-million political network backed by the Koch brothers, via the Washington Post and OpenSecrets.org. (Graphic)

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.

Inside the $400-million political network backed by the Koch brothers, via the Washington Post and OpenSecrets.org. (Graphic)

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.

Posted 3 months ago
37 notes

Unraveling last year’s Sandy Hook gun control fight — in two graphs

Read Sunlight’s series: Guns in America: Lock, stock money and influence.

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.

Guns in America: Sunlight explores the money and influence behind the post-Sandy Hook 2013 gun fight 
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/

Guns in America: Sunlight explores the money and influence behind the post-Sandy Hook 2013 gun fight 

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/

Posted 4 months ago
25 notes

Biden’s B-day: A partying year in review

We interrupt our normal viz programming to promote this wonderful photo (and interactive map) of ‘Party Time’ Joe Biden’s fundraising schedule. Happy Birthday, Joe!

Be sure to follow Sunlight’s Political Party Time tumblr for the latest and greatest in political fundraising.

politicalpartytime:

It’s the Vice President’s 71st birthday and he’s had little time for celebration — what with the politicking, speech-giving and fundraising that goes into being the Veep.

In honor of Joe’s Big Day, Party Time has compiled an interactive map of all Joe’s fundraising exploits of the past year.

Follow the link and click on the Cups of Joe (get it?!) to learn more about some of the high-priced shindigs the Vice Partier has graced with his presence in 2013.

(Pictured below: An actual satellite image of Biden returning from official business in Panama back to the party circuit.) 

image

Political donations by county: two decades of change.

From the Sunlight Foundation blog:

Some 30 percent of all the money raised in last year’s presidential election came from just 10 of the nation’s more than 3,000 counties, all of them in major metropolitan areas. But a high proportion of multi-millionaires placed a couple of sparsely populated Wyoming counties among the last election cycle’s highest per-capita givers.

These are just a few of the interesting patterns of political influence that the Sunlight Foundation is beginning to uncover from a partnership with a Philadelphia-based firm that specializes in mapping and geo-spatial analysis. Over the summer, we worked together to create location-based analyses of the federal campaign finance data displayed on Influence Explorer. The partnership produced new and more accurate ways to identify trends in political spending through the power of data vizualization.