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Explore Political Influence in One Click

September 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Sunlight Foundation has just launched their latest tool for getting at the web of influence surrounding our elected officials, and it’s definitely worth checking out — Influence Explorer. It’s a dirt simple way to get all the key info on the connections, financial or otherwise, between politicians, organizations and powerful people at both the state and federal level.

The site replaces the need to slogg through databases of campaign finance info and lobbying disclosures with one simple search. For example, just enter “BP” on the homepage and in a matter of seconds you’ll get a clean and concise webpage telling you what politicians they’ve been giving to, how they’ve been dividing their political activities between the state and federal levels, how much they have spent on lobbyists, what lobbying firms they’ve been hiring, and even the names of the specific lobbyists they’ve been using. When you start clicking around things get even more interesting. One click off of the BP page brings you to the personal political giving history of their lobbyists.

Go poke around for yourself, and remeber Influence Explorer for the next time you want a quick but comprehensive snapshot of how a person or a group is working the political influence game.

“Leaning lobbyist” image by bjmccray used under a Creative Commons license.

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