October and November reporting powered by Sunlight tools and data


Sunlight is dedicated to being a go-to resource for both local and national reporters as they use our tools and data for all types of stories. October and November were very busy for Sunlight, and our tools and data were cited in a broad range of stories and topics ranging from gun violence to Silicon Valley to lobbying to campaign finance and more.

Our tool for tracking political fundraising invites, Political Party Time, was cited by Bloomberg in a story about how big money from Silicon Valley has yet to reach the coffers of presidential candidates.

Political Party Time also was used in stories about fundraisers for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who attended a salmon bake for the Alaska Republican Party, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who held his annual Grateful Dead themed fundraiser.

CNBC used Sunlight data from Real-Time Influence Explorer to create a data visualization that determines return on investment based on how much a campaign has spent in this election cycle.

The Wall Street Journal reported on data from the Committee for Economic Development (CED) on how business tries to influence our government. In the report, CED uses a Sunlight analysis that determined some of the top lobbying businesses in the U.S. pay some of the lowest federal tax rates.

Politifact, a fact-checking website run by The Tampa Bay Times, used Sunlight data to fact-check recent statements from Ted Cruz on immigration.

The Washington Post discussed recent news that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey name-checked Politwoops, Sunlight’s tool for tracking deleted tweets from elected officials.

Fast Company published a great overview of the Data Science for Social Good project, that uses Sunlight data to compare bills in different states. The tool allows researchers, reporters and citizens to track identical legislation introduced in state legislatures across the country.

Gun violence has sadly been in the news recently, and Sunlight’s tools have helped reporters analyze data around the public debate on the issue. PEOPLE.com issued a message from the editor urging readers to contact their member of Congress. The pop culture and news magazine used our OpenCongress email service to allow readers to send messages directly to their member of Congress regarding the debate around recent gun violence. Additionally, The Florida Times Union authored an editorial citing how the NRA spent money on campaigns using Sunlight’s Real-Time Influence Explorer.

As the election ramps up, Sunlight’s Real-Time Influence Explorer will be tapped by news outlets to follow the money in 2016. Newsmax recently used the tool, and Sunlight reporting from Melissa Yeager, in a story about Jeb Bush’s supportive super PAC Right to Rise USA spending $6.6 million on ads with Fox News.

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