Recent Sunlight Foundation Press Releases
July 16, 2015 —
A new report published today by the Money, Politics and Transparency project found that the role of money in politics challenges states worldwide, both rich and poor. Its abuse often raises problems of graft, corruption and cronyism, undermining legitimacy and governance. Major scandals linked to money in politics are currently rocking ruling parties in countries such as Chile, Malaysia and Brazil, with calls for leading politicians to resign. And there are problems in established democracies as well.
April 30, 2015 —
A joint analysis released today by the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Responsive Politics found that in the 2014 elections, 31,976 people — the one percent of the one percent of the American population — accounted for $1.18 billion in disclosed federal political contributions.
April 20, 2015 —
WASHINGTON — Today, the Sunlight Foundation announced its participation in the just launched ‘What Works Cities,’ a three-year, large-scale initiative to accelerate the ability of American cities to use data and evidence to engage the public, make government more effective and improve people’s lives.
All press releases
Sunlight Foundation in the News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All press mentions