MAPLight.Org Launches Money, Search Engine

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<p><strong>Washington, D.C. &mdash; May 22</strong><br />MAPLight.org has launched a search engine that reveals the connections between money and politics within Congress.<br /><br />At the Web site, journalists and the public can now rapidly follow the money and voting trail for more than 100 subject areas, legislators, special interest groups and bills for the 109th Congress and the current 110th Congress.<br /><br />&ldquo;Information that used to take days to uncover is now available at the click of a mouse,&rdquo; said Dan Newman, MAPLight.org executive director. &ldquo;How often did representatives vote with the special interests that financed their election campaigns? Now you can find out online in seconds.&rdquo;<br /><br />MAPLight.org for Congress combines all campaign contributions to U.S. legislators with legislators&rsquo; votes on every bill, using official records from the Library of Congress Web site and the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.</p><p>The resulting database of bills, voting records and campaign contributions powers the search engine at MAPLight.org and enables people to see the links between dollars spent and votes cast in Washington D.C.<br /><br />Users and reporters now can find quick answers to previously difficult questions such as: </p><ul><li>How closely does a vote in Congress correlate with special-interest contributions?<br /></li><li>Which organizations and industries support and oppose key federal bills?<br /></li><li>How much money was spent by special interests on each side of a bill, and did legislators receive funds in the final days preceding a vote?</li></ul><p>The new tools at MAPLight.org provide an unparalleled level of government transparency, exposing patterns never before seen by ordinary citizens. </p><p>In April MAPLight.org presented at the Web. 2.0 Expo in San Francisco and was featured on Wired.com as the web mashup that &ldquo;turns citizens into Washington&#39;s newest watchdogs&rdquo; via back-end computational power and open database journalism.<br /><br />MAPLight.org launched in October 2006, showcasing data from the California Legislature. </p><p>Positive reviews followed, as well as demand for the Web 2.0 political search engine to expand to the federal level. </p>

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