Follow Us

Sunlight Foundation has had such an incredible journey from 2006 to now. Join us in celebrating eight years of success by viewing and sharing our interactive report, Milestones and Metamorphosis.

Help us build on our eight year        momentum!

Contribute before year's end:
Donate to Sunlight today!


FEC adds RSS feed of campaign finance filings


Harried campaign finance dorks who spend the 20th of each month huddled over a terminal window hoping the next 43,558-page election disclosure report doesn't break their parsing code have one less thing to worry about going wrong: today the Federal Election Commission announced they're providing an RSS feed of the latest filings.

It's a small step forward--and, full disclosure--one that the Sunlight Foundation asked for a few months ago at a public meeting. But it's important nonetheless because it acknowledges that time-sensitive data needs to be presented in a convenient machine readable format. Until now, real-time campaign finance sites (like Follow the Unlimited Money) had to regularly ignore the FEC's policy against web crawlers querying their campaign finance search and parse a page of human readable results. A few overzealous bots from a variety of news organizations were blocked in recent months for reading data too quickly. And the reliance on human-readable results meant that any formatting change might break a campaign finance scraper.

The RSS feed is a modest step, but it's certainly nice to see an agency going out of their way by not only hosting a forum on public data, but actually implementing some of the suggestions.