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Press Center

Sunlight is one of the nation's most trusted sources for information and analysis on how we can open up public access to the government online to make it more transparent and accountable. From data and research tools to staff experts and online trainings, we provide an array of resources for journalists and the media. Contact the Communications team (below) for more information.

Recent Sunlight Foundation Press Releases

‘Fixed Fortunes’: Corporate Donors Spent $5.8B on Political Influence, Received $4.4T in Financial Benefits

November 17, 2014 — The Sunlight Foundation is releasing “Fixed Fortunes,” a groundbreaking analysis and dataset of the money the biggest corporate political donors put into campaigns and lobbying and what they get in return. Sunlight’s research found that, between 2007 and 2012, 200 of the most politically active for-profit companies in the United States disclosed spending a total of $5.8 billion influencing Washington through campaign contributions and lobbying, and have benefitted from $4.4 trillion in contracts, grants, loans and subsidies. The number exceeds the $4.3 trillion that 50 million Americans received over the same time period from Social Security.

Sunlight Foundation and national partners launch campaign to open legislatures as part of Global Legislative Openness Week

September 15, 2014 — On Monday, a group of 108 civil society organizations from around the world, including the Sunlight Foundation, the Latin American Legislative Network, Open Knowledge, Access Info Europe and local Transparency International chapters launched a global campaign to highlight the importance of transparent and accountable legislatures, and to help parliaments embrace new technologies when publishing information about their work.

All press releases

Sunlight Foundation in the News

Editorial: Flunking the open legislature test

The MetroWest Daily News (Mass.) — Through its Open States project, the Sunlight Foundation, which advocates for open government, recently put the legislative websites of all 50 states to the test. It evaluated them on completeness, timeliness, ease of access, machine readability, standards and permanence of records, then compiled the scores and gave each state a grade. Massachusetts scored a solid F, with a combined score of –1, the lowest score given.

Editorial: Let the sun shine on political donations

The Asheville Citizen-Times — The other battle over campaign disclosures comes at the federal level. As Lisa Rosenberg of the Sunlight Foundation says in her column on this page, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. It could strike down a longstanding cap on contributions and allow a single donor to contribute more than $3.5 million to one party during an election cycle. Considering the court’s ill-advised Citizens United decision in 2010, which led to $1 billion in contributions from “outside” groups in the 2012 campaign, it’s time for Congress to act. We agree with the Sunlight Foundation’s recommendation that Congress mandate that contributions of more than $1,000 to candidates, committees or political parties be disclosed within 48 hours.

Editorial: Sunshine Week is reminder that government openness is crucial to our freedoms

The Reno Gazette Journal — If the court does toss out the cap, it will become more important than ever that the voters know who is spending large amounts of money to get individual candidates elected. At the same time, donors and PACs are working to allow more secrecy in election spending. The Sunlight Foundation is recommending legislation that would mandate disclosure of all contributions of $1,000 or more to parties, candidates and political committees within 48 hours of receipt. Only if they know who candidates are getting money from can they determine who their elected officials are really representing: the voters who elected them to office or the moneyed interests that paid for their campaigns.

Editorial: 'Honest graft' in Congress only works for crooks and liars

The Washington Examiner — Enthusiasm for old-fashioned dirty politics - including back-room deals, vote-buying with earmarks and log-rolling - is making a comeback. Shocking as that might be for folks who thought the banishment of earmarks a few years ago marked the end of congressional corruption, what is also unexpected is who are the most vocal advocates of the revival. As the Sunlight Foundation's Bill Allison pointed out Friday, the push comes from liberals like the Atlantic's Jonathan Rauch and Slate's Matthew Yglesias.

Editorial: Change the rules on secret money

The New York Times — In November, when the Internal Revenue Service finally stirred itself to propose a modest crackdown on the abuse of the tax code by political groups, it was immediately attacked by tax-exempt nonprofit groups on the right. That wasn’t too surprising; secret donations from conservatives to these groups are the principal reason American politics is now dominated by those with huge bank accounts. But now liberal tax-exempt groups are also raising their voice in protest over the I.R.S.’s plans, afraid that they will be caught in the same crackdown, and will be unable to engage in political activity. The best thing the I.R.S. can do is to ignore both sides and proceed swiftly ahead, making its proposed rules even stronger to squeeze the influence of money out of politics.

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