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Sunlight Foundation Press Release Archive

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Recent 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.

Chris Gates chosen as Sunlight Foundation's new president

September 8, 2014 — The Sunlight Foundation, one of the foremost leaders in the use of technology to enable more complete, equitable and effective democratic participation, is pleased to announce that Chris Gates has been named as the organization’s new president.

EDITORIAL MEMO: The Freedom of Information Act must be updated

August 26, 2014 — This summer, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced improvements to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA Improvement Act of 2014), which would update the critically important law to promote greater government transparency and accountability.

EDITORIAL MEMO: Political ad transparency should extend to cable, radio and satellite companies

August 13, 2014 — The public recently won a major transparency victory when, as of July 1, 2014, after years of public pressure, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began requiring that all broadcast television stations post their political files online. These files contain information about who buys political ads at a station, how much they cost and the issue or candidate at the center of the ad.

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.