The notion of dark money was first introduced in a 2010 report from the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit group that calls for greater transparency in government. Originally, the term referred to funds of undisclosed origin being used to influence elections.

#Humblebrag?

We couldn’t resist posting this quote from National Review, which cites our coinage of the term “dark money” — a term that references, as NR points out,  the anonymous political spending that floods our elections each cycle.

Sadly, the article also goes on to defend the right of anonymous financial influence in politics and the various tactics both the left and the right utilize to keep undisclosed flowing into the system. To which we would say: Mmmm… no. 

What does 1 year+ of political ads look like?

Sunlight examined every political ad contract from April 2013 to June 2014 and found that candidates and outside groups dropped over $4.6 million in that time frame.

A Sunlight Foundation analysis of 14 months worth of contracts at CBS affiliate KYW provides a glimpse at the relentlessness with which voters in key markets are bombarded with political messages — and intriguing details about how office seekers, political parties and other interest groups target them.

Read the full analysis on the Sunlight Foundation blog.

Courting donors in the dark: Mapping Obama’s closed door fundraisers

From our sister tumblr, Political Party Time:

From the Sunlight Foundation blog: 

Although President Barack Obama’s administration touts its support of an open and transparent government, there’s been a glaring exception: opening up political fundraisers to the pool of White House reporters who trail the president. So far, in 2014, President Obama has headlined 41 political fundraisers, according to data from Party Time. Of those parties, the press has been shut out of almost half – 19, to be exact.

A visualization of the U.S.’ $52.6 billion national intelligence budget — as told by the Snowden leaks — via martingrandjean.ch.

A visualization of the U.S.’ $52.6 billion national intelligence budget — as told by the Snowden leaks — via martingrandjean.ch.

Posted 3 months ago
28 notes

It’s time for Congress to show us the money — in real time



Politicians know immediately when big donations come in. Shouldn’t you? 



With Citizens United and McCutcheon, there’s more money in politics than ever. We think it’s time to give voters better tools to track it.

Do you agree? Join the movement to pass the Real Time Transparency Act. Here’s three things you can do RIGHT NOW:

  1. Sign our petition calling on Congress to pass the bill: http://snlg.ht/1v3X6ZC
  2. Write a letter to the editor of your hometown newspaper: http://snlg.ht/1v3Xibe
  3. Share one of our political cartoons: http://snlg.ht/1s8swQp


Join our fight to give power back to the voters - It’s time to tell Congress: #showusthemoney in real time!

via the Upshot: How often does Congress talk about Benghazi?

via the Upshot: How often does Congress talk about Benghazi?

Posted 4 months ago
1 note
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 7 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!