MapLight is a nonpartisan research organization that reveals
money’s influence on politics.
We research and compile data about the sources of campaign
contributions in the U.S. Presidential, Congressional,
state, and local ballot and candidate elections. We provide
journalists and citizens with transparency tools that
connect data on campaign contributions, politicians,
legislative votes, industries, companies, and more to show
patterns of influence never before possible to see. These
tools allow users to gain unique insights into how campaign
contributions affect policy so they can draw their own
conclusions about how money influences our political system.
MapLight was founded in 2005 by Thomas Layton, Jaleh Bisharat, and Daniel G. Newman. Daniel, MapLight's President, was recognized as Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2010 for his work at MapLight.
Watch our animated video that explains MapLight's work in just a few minutes!
Once you’ve experienced this, it’s hard to be
satisfied with the old, disconnected data. It’s like getting
a first taste of salt.
Evan Hansen, Editor-in-Chief,
Nobody has ever revealed the relationship
between money given and votes cast to quite such a startling
Every taxpayer should take a hard look at
this site. Never before have citizens been able to so easily
track the influences on their elected officials.
Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism,
This is the most extraordinary use of
technology I believe I have seen when it comes to politics.
seeks to shine a light on our money-dominated political
system so citizens can be more informed about the potential
financial influences that affect their representatives’
Why? We believe that democracy works best when it is the
public’s interests that are at the forefront of their
representatives’ minds when voting on policies – not the
interests of a select few whose resources may eclipse the
interests of many.
MapLight, uncovering influence connections could require
days or weeks of research for a single bill. Our model
brings significant advances to money and politics
communications, allowing us to provide the latest findings
about money’s impact on important issues to citizens across
the country—more quickly, comprehensively, and efficiently
than was ever before possible:
money/votes data provide a basis for government
accountability derived from verifiable facts, including
specific dates and amounts of contributions and
legislators’ voting records.
present money/votes data in “real time,” so that
journalists, advocacy groups, and others can cite
compelling facts connecting campaign contributions to
particular issues while they are “hot” topics in the news.
make this information freely available to everyone and
provide powerful transparency tools for disseminating it,
creating the potential for money and politics
accountability campaigns by groups who have never before
had the resources to conduct this type of research.
Read the details about our data sources and methodology. Data refers to direct contributions to the campaign committees of elected legislators. For example, contribution totals exclude contributions to party committees such as the RNC or the DNC and exclude contributions made to individuals that did not win their election.
For U.S. Congress, contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org) and legislative data provided by GovTrack.us.
California contributions data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics (FollowTheMoney.org).
Wisconsin contributions data provided by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (wisdc.org).