In the spirit of Sunshine Week — a week dedicated to highlighting the need for transparency in government — the National Institute on Money in State Politics in Helena, Mt., has launched a new feature that makes state political contribution data more accessible than ever! MyFollowTheMoney allows people to actually download contribution data-sets with a simple click of the mouse. This is the first time that every state's campaign contribution data is available for download from a single place.
"While some states have taken advantage of technology to meet the public's demand for transparency, others have struggled," said the Institute's executive director, Ed Bender, who added, "myFollowTheMoney gives users from all states equal access to data that they have a right to. It also sets a model for the ease of access to data that we hope states will follow."
Access to this free feature is at www.FollowTheMoney.org. Facebook users can share the site's data and visualizations on their Facebook wall to create conversation and debate among friends and colleagues.
The Institute plans to add additional features to allow users to keep closer tabs on the candidates who are seeking their votes, as well enabling users to use the data in new ways.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan National Institute on Money in State Politics collects and analyzes campaign contribution information on state-level candidates, political party committees, and ballot committees.
— ANDY LAGOMARSINO, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM