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The Sunlight Foundation
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The Sunlight Foundation harnesses the Internet and social Web to shine more light on Congress.

Founded in January 2006, the Sunlight Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) educational organization, supports, develops and deploys new Internet technologies to make information about Congress and the federal government more accessible to the American people. Through its projects and grant-making, Sunlight serves as a catalyst to create greater political transparency and to foster more openness and accountability in government.

Entries by The Sunlight Foundation

No Justice Roberts, the Internet Can't Do Government's Job

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 7:11 PM


Head and shoulders shot of Chief Justice John Roberts, a brown haired, blue-eyed man smiling into the camera and wearing a black judicial robe with a white shirt collar and red tie visible underneath.

Writing for the majority in the Supreme Court's...

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Real-Time Disclosure -- One Simple Fix for a More Informed Public

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 11:51 AM

falling money

Photo: Flickr user 401k

In anticipation of an upcoming decision by the Supreme Court in McCutcheon v. FEC, Congress should enact legislation to mandate near real-time disclosure of hard money contributions to parties and candidates, so that citizens can better gauge whether their elected...

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Biggest Players in Shutdown Drama Raised Big Bucks in Q3

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 11:22 AM

House Speaker John Boehner may have had a rough couple of weeks with a shutdown that's made him a lightning rod for public anger over gridlock in Washington, but the Ohio Republican is still one of the biggest political money...

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Open Data Executive Order Shows Path Forward

(1) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 11:39 AM

Today, the White House is issuing a new Executive Order on Open Data -- one that is significantly different from the open data policies that have come before it -- reflecting Sunlight's persistent call for stronger public listings of agency data, and demonstrating a new path forward for...

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IRS and DOJ Fail to Enforce Laws Against Dark Money Groups

(11) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 4:03 PM

By Lisa Rosenberg

Neither the IRS nor the Department of Justice have prosecuted flagrant violations of campaign finance and related tax laws, despite both agencies' authority to take legal action against those who stealthily funnel dark money into our elections. At a

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Obama Versus Campaign Finance Laws

(37) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 6:13 PM

By John Wonderlich

There's a certain conventional wisdom that President Obama wants stronger campaign finance laws, and to protect our democracy from the corrupting effects of money in politics.

It's a story that you should no longer believe.

The arc of the Obama presidency may be...

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Happy Birthday Richard Nixon -- RIP Campaign Finance Reform?

(6) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 1:28 PM

Happy Birthday Richard Nixon -- RIP campaign finance reform? - Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group
By Kathy Kiely and Bill Allison


Tonight, at Washington's stately Mayflower Hotel, just a few blocks from Sunlight's offices, family and former aides to the late President Richard Nixon...

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"Fiscal Cliff" Casts Shadow of Secrecy

(3) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 11:11 AM

Just like the debt limit negotiations and super committee process that helped cause it, the so-called "fiscal cliff" of expiring laws is creating another round of secretive negotiations among our political leaders. The heads of both parties now thrive on stories of impending fiscal consequences, even when they're...

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What We Learned: 10 Lessons From the Campaign Brought to You by Citizens United

(14) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 5:05 PM

ballot box and money

(Updated Nov. 6, 11:31 a.m.)

For the candidates, it's all over except for the voting, but for those of us who follow money in politics, it will take months to close the books on what will...

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Outside Money in the Senate: 1 Map, 4 Graphs and 7 Takeaways

(8) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 8:39 AM


This post was written by Lee Drutman.
This post was prepared in collaboration with Alexander Furnas. All graphics by Amy Cesal.

Outside money continues to pour in at a record pace this election cycle, and beyond the presidential race, the...

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Sex and Taxes: What the Romney Returns and the Edwards Precedent Say About Political Slush Funds

(200) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 2:53 PM

The cloak and dagger tale circulating on the Internet about a group of hackers who claim to have purloined old tax returns of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and say they will release them to whoever is first to pay their ransom suggests why a federal court case

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Romney Has Not Disclosed His Campaign Bundlers -- There Oughta Be a Law Requiring It

(4) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 12:47 PM

This post was written by Lisa Rosenberg.

As the pundits debate what the addition of Paul Ryan to the GOP presidential ticket means for the race, one sure thing the presumptive candidate for vice president brings to the campaign is a prodigious fundraising ability. According to

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These Senators Were for Disclosure Before They Were Against It

(13) Comments | Posted July 16, 2012 | 5:05 PM

On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote along party lines to deny cloture to the DISCLOSE Act. Republicans have even promised to launch a filibuster to guarantee the bill is defeated. But several Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), its most ardent opponent, have spoken in...

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Rebuttal to McConnell's War of Misinformation on DISCLOSE Act

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 12:04 PM

By Lisa Rosenberg

A war is being waged against the DISCLOSE Act. Its commander in chief is Senator Mitch McConnell, his secret weapon is misinformation and his goal is to protect unlimited dark money contributions to the political process.

It's time for a counter-attack.

McConnell outlined his plan...

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Forget the Sex Scandal, Love Child and Rielle Hunter: John Edwards' Reliance on Big Donors All Too Common

(1) Comments | Posted June 1, 2012 | 9:40 AM

By Bill Allison, editorial director for the Sunlight Foundation.

The strange case of John Edwards -- who has been humiliatingly undressed as a scoundrel and the very opposite of what he pretended to be in two runs for the presidency -- sheds some light on the relationship between...

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Congressional Letter-Writing Campaign Helps Torpedo Voluntary Food Marketing Guidelines for Kids

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 2:13 PM

By Nancy Watzman, consultant for the Sunlight Foundation.

Days after receiving several campaign checks from the food lobby last May, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who is up for re-election this year, sent a letter raising concerns about the Federal Trade Commission's efforts to develop voluntary guidelines...

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Senate Introduces Targeted DISCLOSE Act Today

(2) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 4:22 PM

This post was written by Lisa Rosenberg, government affairs consultant for the Sunlight Foundation.

Senate Democrats unveiled their version of the DISCLOSE Act today. (We wrote about the House bill, introduced last month, here.) Senator Whitehouse was joined by approximately 35 of his Democratic colleagues on legislation...

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Citizens United Decision Could Lead to Foreign Interests Influencing US Elections

(31) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 8:33 AM

This post was written by Lisa Rosenberg, government affairs consultant for the Sunlight Foundation.

"What we're seeing here is the opening phase of what will turn into being the largest scandal in American history ... because it involves foreigners being directly involved in the American political system [and] the...

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Almost 400 Former House Staffers Registered to Lobby in Last Two Years

(12) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 3:02 PM

This post was written by Lee Drutman, senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation

The revolving door is alive and well in Washington. In less than three years, at least 378 House staffers employed in personal and committee offices have left Capitol Hill to become registered lobbyists, a Sunlight...

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Gingrich Super PAC Super Donor Sheldon Adelson Has Businesses Under Scrutiny by IRS, Justice

(6) Comments | Posted January 27, 2012 | 5:15 PM

This post was written by Bill Allison, editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation.

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who have reportedly given a combined $10 million to Winning Our Future, the super PAC that supports and is run by former staffers of Republican presidential candidate...

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