Federal candidates depend on financial sector more than any other for campaign money

Candidates running for federal office are two-thirds more dependent on donors from the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector for campaign contributions than any other sector. Through the second quarter of 2012, federal candidates have relied on the sector for 15.2% of their itemized (over $200) contributions, solidly ahead of their dependence on the next closest competitors — health interests (at 8.9%) and lawyers and lobbyists (at 8.8%).

This is not a new phenomenon. In each of the last seven election cycles, federal candidates have depended on the finance sector for between 15% and 17% of their contributions at the same point in the cycle. But with tax reform being high on the agenda no matter who is elected and the finance sector eager to continue to shape the implementation of Wall Street reform, the contributions are as important as ever.

shortformblog:

thepoliticalnotebook:

13 Mexican journalist have disappeared since 2003: here’s a map of their disappearances. These folks, as Atlantic Cities notes, were most likely killed, but unlike a number of their colleagues, their bodies have never been found. The map was made by Articulo 19. They also made an infographic of instance of attacks on the media with firearms and explosives.
[Atlantic Cities]

Nothing sadder than knowing that hard-working journalists went missing on a hunt for the truth.

shortformblog:

thepoliticalnotebook:

13 Mexican journalist have disappeared since 2003: here’s a map of their disappearances. These folks, as Atlantic Cities notes, were most likely killed, but unlike a number of their colleagues, their bodies have never been found. The map was made by Articulo 19. They also made an infographic of instance of attacks on the media with firearms and explosives.

[Atlantic Cities]

Nothing sadder than knowing that hard-working journalists went missing on a hunt for the truth.

Reblogged 1 year ago from shortformblog
145 notes

Actually, 70% of the country would benefit more under Obama’s plan. See how you would fare.

The fall-out commentary over Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment has been fascinating for a number of reasons, but perhaps most of all because it has raised good questions of who actually pays for government and who benefits.

For those who want to dig deeper into these questions, there is a great new website that estimates the actual impacts of the Romney and Obama tax plans: Politify.

Based on Politify’s calculations, 69.8% of Americans would financially benefit more from the Obama plan, as compared to 30.2% under the Romney plan.

How the NSF allocates billions of federal dollars to top universities

As another college year begins, tens of thousands of academics will once again be scrambling to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation, hoping to secure government funding for their research. Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) bestows more than $7 billion worth of federal funding on about 12,000 research proposals, chosen out of about 45,000 submissions.
Thanks to the power of open data, we can now see how representation on NSF federal advisory committees connects to which universities get the most funding. (Federal advisory committee membership data is a feature of Influence Explorer.)

How the NSF allocates billions of federal dollars to top universities

As another college year begins, tens of thousands of academics will once again be scrambling to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation, hoping to secure government funding for their research. Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) bestows more than $7 billion worth of federal funding on about 12,000 research proposals, chosen out of about 45,000 submissions.

Thanks to the power of open data, we can now see how representation on NSF federal advisory committees connects to which universities get the most funding. (Federal advisory committee membership data is a feature of Influence Explorer.)

Posted 1 year ago
26 notes
Filming OpenGov Champions: Liz Barry

As Sunlight’s Video production Director it is my delight to be producing an ongoing video series called OpenGov Champions, featuring citizens who take action in their own ways to open up, or as in this case, contribute to, government data.
I was especially excited to go to Brooklyn, NY to film this episode in which we showcase Liz Barry from Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) and their grassroots mapping efforts. Theirs is a unique way to work with and contribute to open government data. I had watched  Liz’s TED talk about the mapping they did in 2010 of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Their maps were the only high resolution images available at the onset of the spill and spread all over the world media because access to airspace was restricted and planes could not capture aerial photos using traditional methods. It all had started with Jeffrey Warren in MIT and others who were experimenting with new ways to create high resolution maps using low cost, DIY technology like kites, balloons and cheap digital cameras. When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, they saw the opportunity to help by mapping the scope of the disaster. That’s when Liz met them and jumped right in, helping with logistics and connecting people with boats and crews. In my mind there is a rock star quality to this kind of opengov data work. And they have indeed gotten a lot of fame for their work and were a Knight News Challenge winner in 2011 among other things.

Filming OpenGov Champions: Liz Barry

As Sunlight’s Video production Director it is my delight to be producing an ongoing video series called OpenGov Champions, featuring citizens who take action in their own ways to open up, or as in this case, contribute to, government data.

I was especially excited to go to Brooklyn, NY to film this episode in which we showcase Liz Barry from Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) and their grassroots mapping efforts. Theirs is a unique way to work with and contribute to open government data. I had watched Liz’s TED talk about the mapping they did in 2010 of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Their maps were the only high resolution images available at the onset of the spill and spread all over the world media because access to airspace was restricted and planes could not capture aerial photos using traditional methods. It all had started with Jeffrey Warren in MIT and others who were experimenting with new ways to create high resolution maps using low cost, DIY technology like kites, balloons and cheap digital cameras. When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, they saw the opportunity to help by mapping the scope of the disaster. That’s when Liz met them and jumped right in, helping with logistics and connecting people with boats and crews. In my mind there is a rock star quality to this kind of opengov data work. And they have indeed gotten a lot of fame for their work and were a Knight News Challenge winner in 2011 among other things.

Posted 1 year ago
5 notes
Congrats to Sunlight grantee Politify on their launch!
Politify
Election 2012

Congrats to Sunlight grantee Politify on their launch!

Politify

Election 2012
Posted 1 year ago
19 notes
Super PAC’s fundraising losing momentum, latest reports show 

Closing in on the upcoming party conventions, super PACs appear to have lost some of their steam in attracting the big bucks. The big guns of political ad spending took in $30 million during July, reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission show. That’s $25 million less than the previous month. In all, super PACs have raised $343 million since Jan.1, 2011, the beginning of this campaign cycle.
The top donors include names now familiar as repeat super PAC underwriters, along with a few newbies. Among the eight donors who write seven-figure checks last month are three corporate donors and one left leaning nonprofit.

Super PAC’s fundraising losing momentum, latest reports show

Closing in on the upcoming party conventions, super PACs appear to have lost some of their steam in attracting the big bucks. The big guns of political ad spending took in $30 million during July, reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission show. That’s $25 million less than the previous month. In all, super PACs have raised $343 million since Jan.1, 2011, the beginning of this campaign cycle.

The top donors include names now familiar as repeat super PAC underwriters, along with a few newbies. Among the eight donors who write seven-figure checks last month are three corporate donors and one left leaning nonprofit.

Posted 1 year ago
12 notes
Congressional rookies following the ways of Washington

In 2010, voters were so determined to upset the Washington establishment that they elected a House of Representatives in which 20 percent of the faces were new. It was a political revolution. But nearly two years later, the 89 rookies elected in November, 2010—80 Republicans and nine Democrats—don’t look all that different from their more veteran colleagues.
It wasn’t long after they arrived in Washington in January 2011 before some of the newbies began mimicking their seniors in hitting the party trail, holding fundraisers to cover their 2010 campaign debts. Since then these corporate special interests and businesses registered to lobby have doubled down on their campaign donation to the first-year House members.

Congressional rookies following the ways of Washington

In 2010, voters were so determined to upset the Washington establishment that they elected a House of Representatives in which 20 percent of the faces were new. It was a political revolution. But nearly two years later, the 89 rookies elected in November, 2010—80 Republicans and nine Democrats—don’t look all that different from their more veteran colleagues.

It wasn’t long after they arrived in Washington in January 2011 before some of the newbies began mimicking their seniors in hitting the party trail, holding fundraisers to cover their 2010 campaign debts. Since then these corporate special interests and businesses registered to lobby have doubled down on their campaign donation to the first-year House members.

Posted 1 year ago
4 notes
Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.

Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show.

Posted 1 year ago
116 notes
Head-to-Head Voting Comparison

Head-to-head voting comparison between representatives in Congress.

Head-to-Head Voting Comparison

Head-to-head voting comparison between representatives in Congress.

Posted 1 year ago
Lawmakers, Executive Branch officials honored for about $19 million last year

Companies, associations and the lobbyists employed by them contributed almost $19 million to charities in honor of federal officials last year, the vast majority of it for members of Congress, according to a new report I wrote over on the Reporting Group blog. The report parsed messy disclosures that all lobbying entities have to file every six months ever since 2008, when a law aimed at shining a light on lobbyist influence in Washington came into effect.
To find out which lawmakers and cabinet members were honored most, or to see which interests paid the most in honorary expenses last year, search the interactive graphic below. You can even filter the graphic for lawmakers from your home state.

Lawmakers, Executive Branch officials honored for about $19 million last year

Companies, associations and the lobbyists employed by them contributed almost $19 million to charities in honor of federal officials last year, the vast majority of it for members of Congress, according to a new report I wrote over on the Reporting Group blog. The report parsed messy disclosures that all lobbying entities have to file every six months ever since 2008, when a law aimed at shining a light on lobbyist influence in Washington came into effect.

To find out which lawmakers and cabinet members were honored most, or to see which interests paid the most in honorary expenses last year, search the interactive graphic below. You can even filter the graphic for lawmakers from your home state.

Posted 1 year ago
2 notes

Shark attacks more common than voter fraud. Think Voter ID Laws Won’t Cost You Your Vote? Think Again. huff.to/MGLoA4 via @HuffPostPol - sunlightonhill

(image via nationalpost.com)

Shark attacks more common than voter fraud. Think Voter ID Laws Won’t Cost You Your Vote? Think Again. huff.to/MGLoA4 via @HuffPostPol - sunlightonhill

(image via nationalpost.com)

Posted 2 years ago
10 notes
Super PACs raise $55 million in June

Super PACs had their biggest month ever, raising over $55 million in June.
That impressive haul brought Super PACs’ total fundraising since Jan 1. 2011 to more than $313 million. As of around June 30, Super PACs had about $110 million in the bank (that total includes groups filing reports due between June 27 and July 13).

Super PACs raise $55 million in June

Super PACs had their biggest month ever, raising over $55 million in June.

That impressive haul brought Super PACs’ total fundraising since Jan 1. 2011 to more than $313 million. As of around June 30, Super PACs had about $110 million in the bank (that total includes groups filing reports due between June 27 and July 13).

Posted 2 years ago
24 notes
Are Connectedness and Transparency the Key to Recovery?

The Guardian's Datastore recently announced the results of the economic recovery visualization competition they ran with Google. We’re going to highlight a different competition entry every Wednesday for the next few weeks. Today’s entry, “Are Connectedness and Transparency the Key to Recovery?" by Ryan Panchadsaram, was chosen as the winner of the competition.

Are Connectedness and Transparency the Key to Recovery?

The Guardian's Datastore recently announced the results of the economic recovery visualization competition they ran with Google. We’re going to highlight a different competition entry every Wednesday for the next few weeks. Today’s entry, “Are Connectedness and Transparency the Key to Recovery?" by Ryan Panchadsaram, was chosen as the winner of the competition.

Posted 2 years ago
5 notes