PRESS RELEASE: MAPLight.org Congress: New Public Search Tool Shows Company, Industry, & Individual Campaign Contributions to Members of Congress

 

NEW CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS SEARCH TOOL
SHOWS DETAILED ACCOUNTING OF FUNDS GIVEN TO CONGRESS
BY INTEREST GROUP, COMPANY AND INDIVIDUAL


BERKELEY, CA, July 28, 2010--
MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that illuminates the connection between money and politics, announces the launch of a new public, web-accessible contributions search tool that provides citizens, bloggers and journalists with detailed information about special-interest contributions given to their elected officials. MAPLight.org’s contributions data is provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.

“MAPLight.org’s connections between money and votes have always relied on detailed records of who gives how much to whom,” said Daniel Newman, MAPLight.org’s executive director. “Now, with MAPLight.org’s new contributions search tool, users can see specific details about contributions from any company, industry, or individual—to any member of Congress."

MAPLight.org's contributions search tool reveals in detail each campaign contribution given to members of Congress, broken down by contributor, amount, legislator and date. Journalists, bloggers, researchers and citizens can search for campaign finance data by industry, interest group, company, individual donor and more. The search tool is located at http://maplight.org/us-congress/contributions.

The contributions search tool is linked to MAPLight.org’s unique research that shows which industries support and oppose bills in Congress, aligned with how each legislator votes.

For example, H.R. 4173 - Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, shows each senator, how they voted on the financial reform bill, and the amount each received from commercial banks and other interests opposing financial reform. Scroll to the bottom to see money given to each senator; Senator Mitch McConnell received the most. MAPLight.org’s new contributions search tool shows the 291 contributions given to Senator McConnell from the commercial banking industry, which totals $366,875 for the 2002-2010 election cycles.

Users can search by company to reveal that 397 contributions totaling $463,607 were given to members of Congress by Citigroup in the 2010 election cycle:

contributions-search-citigroup
Click here to view full list.

Users can search by interest group to reveal that 69,531 contributions totaling $83,101,028 were given to members of Congress by finance, insurance, and real estate interests in the 2010 election cycle:

fin-ins-real-estate-industry-search

Click here to view full list.

"MAPLight.org’s new contributions search tool links the interest groups trying to get their way on Capitol Hill with the specific checks they wrote,” said Newman. “It allows any citizen to connect campaign money, interest groups, bills and votes, showing what’s possible in the emerging movement of 'Web 2.0' government transparency."

Data searched includes monetary and non-monetary contributions to candidate campaign committees of legislators serving in the 109th, 110th and 111th Congresses, using data from the OpenSecrets OpenData Initiative of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Search results can be sorted and downloaded for analysis, and can be easily shared on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other media networks.

Editors note: For a 15-minute tutorial on how to use MAPLight.org's new contributions search tool, or to interview Daniel Newman, please contact Pamela Heisey at 415.299.0898 or pamela@maplight.org.

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About MAPLight.org:
MAPLight.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, California. Its mission is to illuminate the connection between Money and Politics (MAP) using our groundbreaking database of campaign contributions and legislative votes. MAPLight.org combines data from the Federal Election Commission, the Center for Responsive Politics, GovTrack.us, the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP), the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission and other sources to better inform Americans and local and national media about the role of special-interest money in our political system. Hundreds of newspapers, TV stations, radio shows and online news sites have cited MAPLight.org's research, including CNN, the public radio show Marketplace, Harper's, The Washington Post and Reuters.

MAPLight.org has received numerous awards including a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism; a James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter and a Webby nomination for best Politics website. To learn more, please visit: MAPLight.org. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.

Media Contact

Pamela Behrsin
Communications
Office: (510) 868-0894
pamela@maplight.org