September reporting powered by Sunlight tools and data

A dataviz from National Journal, powered by Sunlight’s Capitol Words.

Sunlight is dedicated to being a go-to resource for reporters as they use our tools and data for all types of stories. In September, we were able to assist with articles around campaign finance, the pope, super PACs and more. Our Capitol Words tool, which visualizes every word entered into the Congressional Record, was especially highlighted and was used for a few fun stories last month.

With the historical visit by Pope Francis to the United States, National Journal used Capitol Words for a great piece on how often members of both parties mentioned the pope, featuring the data visualization seen to the right:

Two years in­to his papacy, Pope Fran­cis’ name has been uttered 100 times in Con­gress, ac­cord­ing the Con­gres­sion­al Re­cord and the Sun­light Found­a­tion — and more fre­quently by Demo­crat­ic mem­bers than by their col­leagues across the aisle. Demo­crats have men­tioned his name nearly three times more than Re­pub­lic­ans, with 67 (versus 23) men­tions. “Pope Fran­cis” has also been men­tioned 10 times by In­de­pend­ents.

The Christian Science Monitor also used Capitol Words to explain how politicians utilize certain words to describe policies they oppose. The story detailed how both Democrats and Republicans use the term “train wreck.”

The Boston Globe cited Sunlight research on super PACs in 2012. The piece focused on two billionaire brothers from Texas who are big donors to super PACs supporting Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential bid.

Also, The Salt Lake Tribune referenced Sunlight’s lobbying disclosure report card and our methodology for grading states on the quality of lobbying disclosure requirements.   

Our OpenStates API is being utilized by Rocket Lobby, a search engine that allows anyone in the United States to search for their elected representative just by entering in their address.  

As always, if you’re working on a story, see if our tools can help. And feel free to get in touch!