Spotlight on Congress

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

Citizens United Leads to Unprecedented Campaign Spending in Iowa


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June 9, 2015 -- In January 2010, the Supreme Court released its Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for outside spending to pour into Iowa’s elections.

How much have Iowa politicians and their outside groups spent on political campaigns since the Supreme Court loosened campaign finance regulations?

Labor and Business Square Off in CA Special Senate Election


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May 18, 2015 -- Voters in California’s 7th Senate District are set to cast ballots on Tuesday to fill the seat vacated by former State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, who was elected to Congress in November.

How much have the candidates running to fill the seat raised in total for their campaigns, and who are their top contributors?

Defense Contractors Spend Big to Win Stealth Bomber Contract


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May 14, 2015 -- Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin are all competing to win a contract worth at least $55 billion to develop the Air Force’s next stealth bomber.

How much have these companies spent on lobbying and campaign contributions to influence Congress as the battle for the contract unfolds?

Railroads and Oil Companies Deliver Contributions to Subcommittees Overseeing Crude By Rail Legislation


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May 13, 2015 -- On May 1, the Department of Transportation issued new regulations requiring railroad cars that transport crude oil to meet a new safety standard. The rules will require rail companies to, among other things, stop using the most at risk rail cars by 2018.

How much money have railroad and oil companies given in campaign contributions to congressional subcommittees that regulate the safety of crude oil trains?

What's the Cost of a Seat in the California State Legislature?




June 24, 2015 -- It costs a lot of money to win a seat in the California state legislature, but how much exactly? MapLight analyzed the money raised by winners of the 2014 general election in California.

How much money, on average, did current members of the California Legislature have to raise per day to win their seat?