Spotlight on Congress

MapLight research on the influence of money and politics in U.S. Congress.

Amid $1.6 Billion Tab, Campaign Finance Reform Absent From First Presidential Debate

September 26, 2016 - The first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not include any discussion about curbing the influence of money in politics -- one of few areas of bipartisan agreement.

Drug Company Accused of Price-Gouging Has Developed Deep Capitol Network Since 2010


Joe Raedle / Getty Images

September 21, 2016 - Within the last decade, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has increased the price for EpiPens -- its life-saving, epinephrine-based allergy treatment -- from less than $100 to almost $610. Amid the ensuing furor, more attention has been paid to Mylan’s business tactics than to its political activity.

Soda Tax Fundraising Flat -- For Now


Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

September 1, 2016 - Has the fight over soda taxes gone flat? Fundraising by campaigns battling over taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages in four U.S. cities has topped the seven-figure mark, but still falls far short of the dollars spent on the last two major soda tax initiatives, according to a MapLight analysis.

“Dark Money” Groups More Likely to Sponsor Attack Ads


Screenshot of television ad paid for by Club For Growth

August 17, 2016 -“Dark money” groups were more likely to pay for attack ads than other political organizations during the presidential primary season, a MapLight analysis has found. Attack ads accounted for about 70 percent of the airings paid for by politically active nonprofits, according to the analysis of television ads identified as positive or negative. By comparison, fewer than 20 percent of airings paid for by all political groups were critical in tone.

Pro-Trump Super PAC Hire Tests Federal Election Rules


August 16, 2016 -- 
Trump accused rivals of being "in cahoots" with super PACs. Is he doing the same thing now?