New Website Shines Bright Light On Shady World Of Campaign Finance

New Website Shines Bright Light On Shady World Of Campaign Finance

Politicians will find it harder to cover the tracks of questionable campaign funding thanks to a soon to be launched website partly funded by the Sunlight Foundation and a public Kickstarter campaign.

The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that uses the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make the Government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.

The website was devised and built by Solomon Kahn, a Sunlight Foundation OpenGov grantee, and an Edmond J. Safra Network Fellow at Harvard University

He says the motivation behind creating the website was to give the public a venue from where they could see exactly how much money a politician raised each year, and from which sectors they raised it, "offering users more context than they would normally receive ---- on the micro-level, I wanted people to be able to dig as deeply into the details as they wanted"

Content on the website will be obtained from both information politicians and political parties have declared, publicly available information that is hard to find if one does not know where to look for it, and verifiable information submitted by the public and found on the internet

"No single person or media organization could possibly investigate the funding sources of 24,000 federal politicians, but with the help of the internet, we might actually be able to hold every single politician accountable for how they raise money, said Kahn.

"For the last 25 years, these politicians have never expected us to actually find much in this data, and I’m extremely excited to dig up dirt on things that politicians thought we would have long forgotten by now. If you’re excited about this project, and want to contribute, the Kickstarter campaign will be running for a few more weeks. The project will be open source, so you can contribute code as well, or stick this system on top of data from your state or country!"

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