Projects of the Sunlight Foundation
EarmarkWatch.org – a project of the Sunlight Foundation and Taxpayers for Common Sense – is a user-friendly, online investigative tool that lets citizens determine if earmarks - the measures inserted by members of Congress into the various appropriations bills that direct funds to a specific project or recipient - address pressing needs, favor political contributors or are simply pure pork.
LOUIS – The Library of Unified Information Sources – a project of the Sunlight Foundation – is a search engine that combs through Congressional Reports, the Congressional Record, Congressional Hearings, the Federal Register, Presidential Documents, GAO Reports, and Congressional Bills & Resolutions. Users can search broadly for keywords or limit searches to a single document set or range of dates.
OpenCongress.org – a joint project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation – is an open-source, non-partisan, legislative Web resource that uses structured data scraped from THOMAS by GovTrack.us to show legislative information – bills, committees, member profiles – in a more useable format. OpenCongress.org offers RSS feeds as an easy and convenient way to follow the latest news and blog mentions relating to a bill, a vote or a member of Congress.
Sunlight Foundation grantees
Contractor Misconduct Database – The government awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct such as contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations. In the absence of a centralized federal database listing instances of misconduct, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is providing such data about the top 50 contractors.
Fedspending.org – a project of OMB Watch – combines data from the Federal Procurement Data System and the Federal Assistance Award Data System to create a free, searchable database of federal government contracting and spending. The database allows users to search contracts and grants by state, congressional district, contracting agency or type of award, and shows where the money is being spent and whether it was competitively bid. (Fedspending.org is a Sunlight grantee.)
Follow The Money This site of The National Institute on Money in State Politics allows users to search for contributions to candidates for office at all levels of state government and for contributions spent on supporting and opposing ballot initiatives across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (The National Institute on Money in State Politics is a Sunlight grantee.)
MAPLight.org provides a detailed analysis of legislation by tracking bills, the support and opposition bills garner from interest groups and the campaign contributions given by those interest groups to members of Congress and for the state of California. Users can search by bill, interest group or by legislators to see the links between dollars spent and votes cast in Congress. (MAPLight.org is a Sunlight grantee.)
Metavid is a project that captures, streams, archives and facilitates real-time collective remediation of federal legislative proceedings. Metavid opens up video source footage of House and Senate proceedings for permanent reusable online access, allowing citizens to remix, investigate, and track their representatives in a participant-driven open source archive. (Metavid is a Sunlight grantee.)
The Open Community Document Review System is a project of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that provides an online review process that enables people across the Internet to review, tag, comment on and rate the importance of government documents received by CREW through Freedom of Information Act requests. (This project is sponsored by a Sunlight grant.)
OpenCRS – a project of the Center for Democracy & Technology – aggregates Congressional Research Service reports that have been released to the public by members of Congress in a searchable database for free public access. Since CRS reports are not typically available to the public, Open CRS encourages users to submit any acquired CRS reports for inclusion in its public database. (OpenCRS is a Sunlight grantee.)
Open Secrets – a project of the Center for Responsive Politics – provides a searchable database for the campaign finance data of all federally elected politicians since 1989. The site contains individual campaign finance profiles of each member of Congress and each presidential candidate. Users can search by member of Congress, by donor, or by industry sector. (The Center for Responsive Politics is a Sunlight grantee.)
OS: Lobbying Database collects information from lobbyist disclosure forms and provides it the user in a number of searchable ways dating back to 1998. Among many options the user can search by client name, lobbyist name, bill ID number, lobbying firms, and issue area. The site allows the user to search through lobbying firms, top lobbying contracts, individual lobbyists, and the top lobbying industries.
OS: Personal Financial Disclosure has information from the personal financial disclosures filed by every member of Congress and every executive branch official since 2005 and presents it all in a searchable format. The user can search through member’s net worth, stock holdings, assets, and outside income.
OS: Revolving Door aggregates all information related to those leaving work on Capitol Hill to go to work on K Street and vice versa. The Revolving Door database tracks anyone whose résumé includes positions of influence in both the private and public sectors since 1998 to let users search for members of Congress and congressional staffers turned lobbyists.
OS: Travel Database is a search engine of aggregated privately sponsored congressional travel information compiled from reports filed by members of Congress with the House Legislative Resource Center and Senate Office of Public Records since 2005. Users can search by member, staff, sponsor, country, city and industry to see who is funding their travel. The site also provides maps showing where each individual member of Congress and their staff have traveled.
Taxpayers for Common Sense provides reports on pork barrel projects and earmarks in Congress analyzing bills in real-time and providing databases of information. Its mission is to reduce wasteful government spending. (Taxpayers for Common Sense is a Sunlight grantee.)
WashingtonWatch determines the average cost, or savings, per individual of each bill introduced in Congress by performing calculations on government estimates compared to the US population. The Web site provides users with pro and con arguments for each bill, allows comments on each bill, allows users to vote “yes” or “no” on the bills and provides a “write your rep” function. WashingtonWatch also provides a wiki that allows users to add content to each bill. (WashingtonWatch is a Sunlight grantee.)