Monday, June 18, 2007 is a public database that illuminates the connection between campaign donations and legislative votes. MAPLight is a nonprofit organization helping citizens hold their legislators accountable.

This is how MAPLight makes its connections (from the site's About page): combines three data sets:
* Bill texts and legislative voting records
* Supporting and opposing interests for each bill
* Campaign contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics

Combining this data makes visible key information that could never before be determined easily. For example:
* Contributions given by interests supporting and opposing each bill
* Average donations given to legislators voting “Yes” and “No” on each bill
* Timeline of contributions and votes for each bill, graphically identifying when legislators received large donations before or after their vote.

So far there is only information for the California Legislature and the U.S. Congress. New York will be added very soon, and hopefully other states won't be far behind.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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