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Issues We Cover

Read more about the policies and issues Sunlight supports, monitors and develops around money in politics and open government data.

Transparency of Money in Politics

In Washington, money talks. Well-financed special interests wield enormous influence and enjoy access to leaders that ordinary citizens do not. Here is a selection of our work bringing lobbying and campaign financing to light online.

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Campaign Finance Disclosure

Sunlight advocates for greater transparency around the unregulated, unlimited outside money in our elections.

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Citizens United v. FEC

Learn about the landmark 2010 Supreme Court case that loosened restrictions on campaign spending for corporations and labor unions.

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Even with the current moratorium in Congress, earmark spending transparency is necessary to ensure an accountable government.

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Financial Industry and Washington

Sunlight provides a number of online tools and investigations to follow the financial sector’s close ties to lawmakers.

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Food Policy and Washington

Sunlight tracks the lobbying and influence behind recent changes in federal food policy.

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Information about who is influencing our lawmakers should be online in real-time but reforms are needed to know the who, what and how of lobbying works.

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Political Ads on TV

Sunlight leads an effort to make all broadcast TV stations’ political ad files publicly available online, following recent rulemaking by the FCC.

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Senate E-Filing

Sunlight supports the U.S. Senate moving from filing campaign finance reports on paper to more timely, electronic disclosure.

Opening Government Data

The government holds vast amounts of information on its own processes and the country. Such data should be freely accessible to all citizens online, not held in a basement filing cabinet. Making government data truly public online will make for an efficient, more accountable government.

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Congressional Research and Reports

Sunlight believes in making congressionally directed reports and research publicly available.

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Freeing Federal Data

Sunlight advocates and guides the release of more information from federal agencies through discussion of best practices and illustration of what's possible with open data.

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Government Spending

Ensuring public access to accurate, timely, and complete data about the money spent by government is among the Sunlight Foundation's highest priorities. Understanding where the money goes is one of the most effective ways to hold public officials accountable and good data is key to that.

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We are helping to expand access to vital governmental information at the international level by sharing knowledge, technical expertise and capacity with other organizations pursuing similar efforts around the world.

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We are exploring the landscape of open data on the state and municipal level and crafting recommendations for how it could be improved.

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Model Legislation Tracking

Sunlight builds tools around the difficult-to-track influence of the interest groups that distribute model legislation across state legislatures.

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National Data Apps

Sunlight uses government data in new and beneficial ways in this collection of web and mobile apps supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Procurement in Government

Procurement is the process by which the government buys goods and services from the private sector. Sunlight is currently researching the availability of data that exists around procurement processes at the local, federal and international level.

Archived Issues

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Elections 2012

A collection of Sunlight's coverage of the 2012 elections following the money, tracking the fundraisers and reporting throughout the campaign season.

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National Conventions

The Sunlight Foundation was on site at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions to cover the party scene, donor influence and more.

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Read the Bill

The 72 Hour Rule is an idea championed by Sunlight that calls on legislation to be available to the public online prior to a final vote in the House or Senate.

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Save the Data

In 2011, Sunlight successfully advocated and prevented a major budget cut for the Electronic Government Fund; the crucial backbone of many transparency and accountability programs in the federal government.

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Super Committee

In 2011, Sunlight called for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a “Super Committee”) to hold open meetings and be transparent about their work to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the national debt.