- Hey, all, below I'm forwarding a launch announcement for MAPLight.org.
The site integrates California state legislative information with
state-level money-in-politics data (though they hope to expand to the
federal level), and it presents the information in new and interesting
ways. They have a particularly neat time-line for bills that shows
side-by-side the money behind the bill and votes on it.
*Groundbreaking Database Unveils New Connections Between Money and
Politics in California*
**Startling Findings Available at www.MAPLight.org**
**FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17**
**Berkeley, CA. October 17, 2006** – Today MAPLight.org unveiled a
pioneering database that lays bare the connection between money and
votes in California politics.
“Information that used to take days to dig up and connect is now
available at the click of a mouse,” says Dan Newman, Executive Director
of MAPLight.org. “How often did each legislator vote with the special
interests that financed their election campaigns? MAPLight.org now
provides the answers.”
The MAPLight.org website <http://www.maplight.org> combines information
from the Official California Legislative Information website
<http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/>, which contains the official text of each
bill and how each legislator voted, and the Institute on Money in State
Politics <http://www.followthemoney.org/>, a national nonpartisan,
nonprofit organization dedicated to accurate, comprehensive and unbiased
documentation and research on campaign finance.
MAPLight.org allows journalists and citizens to answer questions such as:
* How did a legislator vote on a particular bill, and who are the
top contributors to that legislator?
* How often did legislators vote to support bills their top
* How often did special interests (such as insurance companies or
drug companies) succeed in blocking bills that did not serve their
“MAPLight.org is extremely flexible and easy to use,” said Newman. “You
can approach your research in the way that is most interesting to you.
You can browse through legislation either by the subject area or bill
number that concerns you. Or you can start by looking at the special
interests, or at the voting records. Soon we will have ‘real time’ XML
feeds and widgets for blogs and desktops.”
MAPLight.org <http://www.maplight.org>, a nonprofit, nonpartisan
organization based in Berkeley, California, illuminates the connection
between money and politics. MAPLight.org shines a light on campaign
contributions and related legislative outcomes, which leads to a more
informed public and election reform.
**Contact:** Dan Newman, Executive Director, 510-868-0894 (office),
510-868-3304 (cell), info@... <mailto:info@...>
- --- "Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us"
> Hey, all, below I'm forwarding a launch announcementThanks for the link! It's nice to see someone has made
> for MAPLight.org.
progress on this front. I'm curious if they plan on
opening up their gathering techniques.
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- Scott Beardsley wrote:
> Thanks for the link! It's nice to see someone has madeHey, Scott.
> progress on this front. I'm curious if they plan on
> opening up their gathering techniques.
The money data comes from the Institute for Money in State Politics, and
they recently released an API -- so that's already available. (I think
the work on the API was funded by the Sunlight Foundation. Hold onto
that thought for later.)
As for the legislative data, I think I asked Dan about this and I don't
remember what he said exactly, but the impression that is still in my
memory is that they were very much thinking along those lines.
- Joshua Tauberer
"Strike up the klezmer and start acting like a man. You're
about to have a truth-mitzvah." -- The Colbert Report