MAPLight.org and Wired.com have teamed up to provide at-your-finger-tips info on your elected officials’ top donors and contributors.
From a release:
Wired.com has joined forces with MAPLight.org, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that provides citizens and journalists the transparency tools to shine a light on the influence of money on politics, to create an Influence Tracker widget for members of Congress.
“Like NASCAR drivers, members of Congress should wear the logos of their sponsors. Citizens deserve to know who’s funding their representative’s election campaign,” said Daniel Newman, MAPLight.org’s executive director. “Campaigns are now fueled by donors, not voters. We’re glad to work with Wired to show, graphically, who is funding the people that write our laws.”
The newly-launched Wired/MAPLight.org Influence Tracker allows citizens to build their own personal widget for their senator or representative. Corporate logos of lawmakers’ top contributors are displayed virtually on members of Congress’s business suits in a NASCAR-style sponsor silhouette. Influence Tracker widgets can easily be added to media sites and blogs.
The widget is pretty damn cool. Easy access to important info every citizen needs before heading to the polls. But, I do have one gripe. I’d planned on embedding the profiles for every member of North Carolina’s congressional delegation and our two senators, but the widget’s uneditable width (640 px) is way too wide for our site. I’m sure we’re not the only publication that will have this problem, which makes the embeddable version of the widget pretty much useless.
So, readers, since we can’t embed the widget and since we couldn’t do all the work for you before hand, I encourage you to take just a few moments and head over to Wired.com and search by state or name. for the elected official you’re most curious about. If you’re passion is for healthcare or finance reform or any other host of issues, knowing who’s paying your rep’s campaign bills is important.