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MAPLight.org launch

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  • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us
    Hey, all, below I m forwarding a launch announcement for MAPLight.org. The site integrates California state legislative information with state-level
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 17, 2006
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      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.

      - Josh

      -------------------------------------------

      *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
      contributors supported?
      * How often did special interests (such as insurance companies or
      drug companies) succeed in blocking bills that did not serve their
      interests?

      “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.”

      **About MAPLight.org**

      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@...>
    • Scott Beardsley
      ... Thanks for the link! It s nice to see someone has made progress on this front. I m curious if they plan on opening up their gathering techniques.
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 17, 2006
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        --- "Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us"
        <tauberer@...> wrote:

        > Hey, all, below I'm forwarding a launch announcement
        > for MAPLight.org.

        Thanks for the link! It's nice to see someone has made
        progress on this front. I'm curious if they plan on
        opening up their gathering techniques.


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      • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us
        ... Hey, Scott. The money data comes from the Institute for Money in State Politics, and they recently released an API -- so that s already available. (I
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 17, 2006
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          Scott Beardsley wrote:
          > Thanks for the link! It's nice to see someone has made
          > progress on this front. I'm curious if they plan on
          > opening up their gathering techniques.

          Hey, Scott.

          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

          http://razor.occams.info

          "Strike up the klezmer and start acting like a man. You're
          about to have a truth-mitzvah." -- The Colbert Report
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