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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

It's Been Four Years Since Stephen Colbert Created a Super PAC -- Where Did All That Money Go?

(11) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 5:15 PM

Before taking over as host of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert was interviewed by Salt and Light -- a Catholic media foundation -- in anticipation of the arrival of Pope Francis in the United States. The host asked Colbert what he would like to see the pope talk about during...

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Net Neutrality Is Essential for a Healthy Democracy

(2) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 3:14 PM

By Chris Gates, President of the Sunlight Foundation

Photo credit: Herkie/Flickr

It was an amazing week in Washington for those who believe in the cause of net neutrality. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his plan, with the support of President Obama, to implement strong...

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Opengov Leaders: President Obama, Use Your Bully Pulpit to Promote Democracy Reforms in the State of the Union Address

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 10:36 AM

Photo credit: Pete Souza/Flickr

By Chris Gates, president of the Sunlight Foundation

President Obama will try to set the tone for public policy in 2015 and the rest of his tenure with tonight's State of the Union address. This annual tradition allows a president to highlight...

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Win or lose, big money still matters in politics

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 10:19 AM

By Sunlight Editorial Director Bill Allison.

a plane dropping money on symbols of the Democratic and Republican party

A few scenes from the recent past: Hopeful polls that showed close races prove a mirage on Election Day; a billionaire spending $50 million...

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We Need an Affirmative Vision for Congress

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 1:46 PM

Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol
It's time for an affirmative vision for the institution of Congress.

Congress currently serves as a punchline -- an excuse for inaction, a symbol for what's wrong with Washington.

The refrains have become familiar and ubiquitous: Congress is

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Disclosure Needed as Obama Administration Reverses Lobbyist Ban

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 10:17 AM

The Obama administration announced it will reverse part of the lobbying ban it instituted in 2010 and allow registered lobbyists to serve on any of 1,000 advisory boards, commissions or panels that provide policy making advice to the government. Reporting on the subject, Politico noted "watchdog groups" were "disappointed"...

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No, Less Disclosure Will Not Reduce Dark Money

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 2:42 PM

A pile of hundred dollar bills
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Here's a wacky idea: If you want to reduce the amount of money in politics, and in particular "dark money," make disclosures less frequent. So argues Lindsay Mark Lewis, the executive director...

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Foreign Lobbying Regulation: A History

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 12:39 PM

Image of young blonde boy looking up and right against backdrop of image of Hitler. German text above and below: Jugend dient dem Fuhrer; Alle zehnjahrigen in die HJ
The Foreign Agents Registration Act was first enacted to combat Nazi propaganda. (Photo credit: James Vaughn via...

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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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