Spotlight on Congress

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

GMO Supporters Reap What They Sow in Government Funding Bill

Lori Sparkia/

March 21, 2013Proponents of genetically modified agriculture have just won a major victory in Congress. A rider included in the 2013 continuing resolution stripped federal courts of their power to restrict the use of genetically modified crops, the only legal tool environmental advocates had for slowing down or stopping the use of new genetically modified crops.

How much money have key supporters of genetically modified agriculture given to members of Congress?

Groups Supporting CISPA Invest in Influence


March 20, 2013CISPA, a bill that would make it easier for private sector companies to share user data with the federal government, is currently sitting in the House Intelligence Committee, awaiting approval from the Committee before it can be voted on in the House.

How much money have interest groups with a stake in its outcome given to members of Congress?

What's the Cost of a Seat in Congress?

March 11, 2013It costs a lot of money to win a seat in Congress, but how much exactly?

See how much the winners in the 2012 election raised, on average.

State of Dark Money: Virginia Senate Race Saw the Most Dark Money

Rosie Cima/MapLight

March 4, 2014During the 2012 election cycle, more 'dark money' was spent to influence voters in Virginia than in any other state. The groups that spent the money, which are not required to disclose their donors because the government does not consider them to be primarily political in nature, focused their spending in the state on the Senate race.

Which candidate benefited more from dark money -- Democrat Tim Kaine or Republican George Allen?

State of Dark Money: In Ohio, As Dark Money Poured in, the Race Tightened

Rosie Cima/MapLight

March 4, 2014Heading into 2012, Senator Sherrod Brown, a member of the Ohio congressional delegation since 1993, was the clear front-runner in his re-election bid against Republican rival Josh Mandel, holding a 15 percentage point lead in the polls in January. But by September, as the dark money began pouring in, the race between Brown and Mandel had developed into a virtual toss-up with public polling data showing Brown's lead down to just three percentage points.

How much dark money was spent in the election, and which candidate did the dark money favor?