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Sunlight Foundation Press Release Archive

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Recent Press Releases

Watchdogs file FCC complaints against TV stations that failed to properly ID political ad sponsors

July 17, 2014 — On Thursday, the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Sunlight Foundation filed complaints at the Federal Communications Commission against two television stations that incorrectly identified front groups as the “true sponsors” of political advertisements, when they were in fact paid for by one individual. The complainants are represented by the Institute for Public Representation of Georgetown University Law Center.

Sunlight Foundation launches Foreign Influence Explorer

May 7, 2014 — WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Sunlight Foundation launched a new tool to track lobbyists who represent foreign clients in Washington. The Foreign Influence Explorer digitizes detailed information on their activities reported to the Department of Justice, under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It’s housed under Sunlight’s popular Influence Explorer, which collects campaign finance, lobbying, contractor misconduct and federal spending data and connects them in a user-friendly interface.

Campaign Legal Center and Sunlight Foundation file FCC complaints against broadcasters for failure to disclose information on political ads

May 1, 2014 — WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, the Campaign Legal Center and the Sunlight Foundation, represented by the Institute for Public Representation of Georgetown University Law Center, filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against 11 broadcast television stations for failure to publicly disclose legally-required information about sponsors of political ads they aired this year. Without this information, viewers are denied important information about the organizations and individuals seeking to influence their vote through these ads.

Sunshine Week Editorial Memo: The Public has Right to Know Who Funds Elections

March 14, 2014 — In the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision that could be announced as soon as the week of March 24, the Supreme Court is expected to strike down the long-standing cap on total contributions individuals may give to federal candidates and political parties, permitting the unseemly spectacle of a single donor contributing more than $3.5 million to one party during an election cycle. This Sunshine Week, as we consider the vital importance of the public’s right to know, Congress should feel pressured to ensure we all have access to who’s funding and influencing our elections.

Sunshine Week Panel: How Journalists Can Unlock Inaccessible Government Data

March 4, 2014 — The Sunlight Foundation, National Press Club, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), OpentheGovernment.org, ProPublica and Reporters Committee for Freedom the Press invite journalists, open government advocates and others interested in government accountability to attend “Partly Cloudy: Why ‘Public Information’ Doesn't Always = Accessible Information,” a Sunshine Week panel that unveils the technical keys to making data truly transparent. Although often with good intentions, the government sometimes hinders access to valuable public information by posting it online in proprietary and other closed formats (such as PDFs) that make analysis problematic. Panelists from Sunlight, USA Today, ProPublica and the Data Transparency Coalition will discuss how digitizing government data does not always improve its accessibility, and will provide insights on how to overcome poor disclosure practices.

Sunlight Foundation Files FOIA Lawsuit Against General Services Administration

November 18, 2013 — WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation today filed its first ever Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Sunlight is filing suit against the General Services Administration because the GSA is six months behind on a FOIA request for federal government contract information maintained by the website FedBizOpps.gov. "We are pursuing litigation as a way to support the work of Sunlight's technology arm, Sunlight Labs. The information we are requesting will give more oversight to how government contracts are bid, awarded and managed," said Ginger McCall, federal policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation.

Sunlight Foundation Acquires OpenCongress.org – An Open Source Website for following Lawmakers and Legislation

October 29, 2013 — WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation today is re-introducing a popular website that allows anyone to learn more about how legislation is made in Washington, D.C. OpenCongress.org, which was conceived and developed by the Participatory Politics Foundation and funded by the Sunlight Foundation, is now solely a project of the Sunlight Foundation. OpenCongress.org is a free, open source and nonpartisan tool that gives users a front row seat on how bills are made, as well as connecting them to like-minded individuals. As the new, sole operator of the website, Sunlight refreshed OpenCongress so that it provides that most accurate, accessible information about members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, the federal legislation they write and the workings of Congress.

Sunlight Foundation Awards Inaugural Round of OpenGov Grants

August 22, 2013 — WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation selected seven recipients for our first round of OpenGov Grants. This funding supports open source projects that use technology to make government more open and accountable. The seven projects receiving a one-time OpenGov Grant in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 are: