Wired is on it:
Ask politicians whether campaign contributions influence their decisions, and they’ll tell you certainly not.
Ask any citizen, and they’ll likely give the opposite answer.
With that in mind, we’re re-introducing a web-based embeddable widget — for anybody to use — that lists the top 10 donors and their contributions to any member of the House and Senate, their opponents, and the presidential candidates. Wired updated the widget in conjunction with Maplight, the Berkeley, California-based nonprofit dedicated to following money and politics.
“Corporate influence in politics has gone off the charts, and it’s more important than ever for voters to understand who is financing candidates,” said Evan Hansen, editor in chief of Wired.com. “Maplight has done the hard work of compiling the data. At Wired, we’re happy to help get that information out to the wider public, and share it as broadly as possible with this web-based embeddable widget.”
The widget is free to steal and comes with a Creative Commons license. The widget displays a shadow outline of the politician adorned with NASCAR-style logos of some of the top donors giving that candidate money.
Maplight pulls down up-to-date campaign-financing figures from the Federal Election Commission, which are fed into a database so the widget stays current.
“In just a few weeks, voters will confront a ballot filled with candidates whose campaigns have been paid for by wealthy donors. People deserve to know the truth about whose interests their candidates are really representing,” said Daniel Newman, president and co-founder of MapLight. “We’re proud to work with Wired to give voters a tool they can use to draw back the curtain on the moneyed influence plaguing our political system.”
- Thinking of a Master Plan: Table upon table of money & politics data available from MapLight, ready to be visualized (lifeandcode.tumblr.com)