Policy stalls as campaign spending by fossil fuel industries and greenhouse gases rise to historic levels.
Why did four key Democrats vote no on extending gun background checks?
Back in February, we at Sunlight made some predictions about the Democrats who would be most likely to oppose some tightening of gun laws, based on three factors: being up for a vote in 2014, having a high number of gun businesses in the state, and having a low Obama vote share.
Based on the data, we thought Sens. Max Baucus, Mark Begich, Tim Johnson and Mark Pryor were most likely to vote ‘no’ on reform. We got 3/4 correct.
What does tax lobbying look like in the 112th Congress?
Our visualization of the vast network of tax lobbying clearly shows clusters emerging around different sectors of the economy. We detect at least 15 distinct lobbying clusters. The densest thickets of activity center around: electricity generation; renewable energy; finance; and the high-tech industry.
While MLB players will be taking the field for Sunday’s and Monday’s opening day games in hopes of winning a World Series title in October, team owners may have their sights set on winning a different sort of Fall Classic.
According to data from Sunlight’s Influence Explorer, MLB organizations pumped in over $24 million to politicians, PACs and independent expenditure groups throughout the 2012 election cycle.
FYI, Washington: Sunlight now has a transparency drone.
SEC nominee’s former clients generous to Senate Banking Committee
This graphic, researched and produced by Sunlight Foundation’s Zander Furnas and Nancy Watzman, shows a complex web of influence by financial heavy hitters whom Mary Jo White, President Obama’s designee to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, represented in her private law practice. The green nodes represent corporate campaign donors. Other nodes represent Senate Banking Committee members who benefitted from contributions from the companies political action committees and/or their employees. Red nodes designate Republican members of the Banking Committee; blue nodes are for Democrats.
As we started thinking about how to approach cities across the US, we had to think about where to focus our effort and attention. Should we focus on a few key, well-known cities who set the strongest examples of developing transparency and open data reforms? Should we narrow down the list to only the biggest, say, 10 cities, or break them into categories by size?
It turns out that most U.S. cities are far smaller than you might think. More than 80 percent of U.S. cities have fewer than 10,000 people. The scope and kinds of data housed in these cities might be vastly different from the data in a metropolis like Los Angeles, with its more than 3 million people in the city limits alone.
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.
At this weekend’s bicoastal Datafest hackathon, participants developed a stunning array of tools for transparency. We saw a map of Silicon Valley campaign contributions and located lawmakers skipping out on Capitol Hill votes in our Party Time database.
The FMS Symphony entry was one of the top prize winners in New York, and voted best in show by the audience at both Stanford and Columbia. Data analysts partnered with journalists from Reuters, the New York Times, the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast to scrape eight years of otherwise unparsable balance sheets that the U.S. Treasury issues every day to “create the first-ever electronically searchable database of the Federal government’s daily cash spending and borrowing.”
CSV Soundsystem, as the group puckishly dubbed itself, turned this into revealing data visualizations to illustrate its findings. The team literally made music of its work, interpreting the data in sound:
“Chords were selected based on the derivative of account balance, and a melody was composed based on the federal interest rate. We also included a contrapuntal riff driven by the distance between accumulated federal debt and the legal debt ceiling,” the team wrote.