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Mapping outside spending

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If the 2012 election will be about anything, it'll be about outside money flooding the system. That's why we have updated our popular super PAC tracker.

Using the data from that tool, we've created a  continuously updated map. As it shows, early voting states in the GOP presidential contest -- Iowa, South Carolina, Florida and Michigan -- already seen an influx of cash. But, the map also shows the heavy impact of outside spending in states ...

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Googling the audience

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Yesterday, senators quizzed Google's former CEO and current board of directors president Eric Schmidt about the company's size, practices, and potential for anti-competitive behavior. Concerned that the government might try to flex its muscle against the search and mobile giant, Schmidt assured the senators that Google was no Microsoft, and that 2011 was no 1995.

The hearing, titled "The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?" provides some insights into the concerns of some members of the the subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. Others with those concerns filled the hearing room. We'd like ...

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Who’s in the super committee audience?

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Yesterday the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known as the "super committee," met publicly for the first time to outline its mission and adopt rules to govern its process. We were on hand and turned our cameras 180 degrees to take pictures of the audience.

With your help, we'd like to identify those watching the committee. So, take a look at the photos below and if you recognize anyone, please send us an email at jhatch@sunlightfoundation.com describing which person you've identified, who he/she is (name, firm, etc.), and how you know who that ...

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Help us identify the lobbyists

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On May 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee held a hearing on the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. Titled "Is Humpty Dumpty Being Put Back Together Again?" the hearing was concerned with possible antitrust issues, questions of competition, access to wireless service, rising costs and the loss of jobs.

Of course, Washington lobbyists had their own concerns and not surprisingly, the room was packed. In concert with National Journal, we at Sunlight decided to turn the cameras around 180 degrees to see who was watching the hearing. Our hope is that you can help us identify D ...

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Republicans Debate in New Hampshire

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With just about 18 months until the next presidential election, seven Republican candidates are gathering in New Hampshire tonight to debate each other over whom would the best to take on President Obama in 2012. To keep the debate in perspective and offer context, analysis, insights and real-time fact checking, the Sunlight Foundation will cover it live at http://sunlightlive.com.

Using our real-time multimedia platform, we'll help separate fact from fiction and provide data showing the influence of campaign contributions and lobbying efforts.

The expected participants include:

  • Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts
  • Michele Bachmann, representative from Minnesota ...

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Meet the fellows

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Thanks to a generous grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, Sunlight will be inaugurating on June 1 the John E. Moss Fellowships, an intensive, hands-on training experience designed to better prepare young journalists for the opportunities and demands of the digital news environment.

This first class of Fellows was competitively selected from applicants across the country and will work on a range of projects, from producing Sunlight Live events, to reporting on the 2012 presidential campaign; from daily blogging on issues of transparency to developing a curriculum and producing lessons to help other journalists better learn how to find, use and ...

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Checking in on the House Oversight Committee

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This Tuesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will have a doozy of a doubleheader. In the morning, the full committee will tackle the issue of rising gas prices, asking the question, how are government actions and regulations driving the price at the pump?

In the afternoon, the subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs will check in on the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, a new controversial agency designed to help consumers as they deal with the financial products and services industry.

At Sunlight, we plan to cover both hearings on Sunlight Live ...

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Sunlight Live to cover Obama Middle East speech

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On Thursday, May 19, President Obama will give a speech on recent events in the Middle East, from the "Arab Spring" uprisings to the lack of progress on an Israeli-Palestinian peace pact. How he addresses these issues is influenced by U.S. interests in the region, as well as lobbying efforts by foreign governments and organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC.

To try to sort out these tangled relationships, the Sunlight Foundation will live-blog the president's address on sunlightlive.com, our award-winning multimedia platform. Our reporters and researchers will work to provide ...

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Senate wants to “check in” on mobile developments

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Few electronic devices have become as personal and ubiquitous as the mobile phone. Or as contentious. A few weeks ago, researchers discovered previously unknown location tracking files on the iPhone. Before that, the country's second-largest wireless carrier (AT&T) agreed to buy the fourth (T-Mobile). Next week the Senate will hold two hearings to look at these issues.

On Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is calling Apple and Google to Washington to explain their privacy policies in a Judiciary subcommittee hearing titled "Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy."

The witness list for the hearing ...

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Sunlight Live covers Bernanke press conference

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Today Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will do something no other Fed chairman has done before: He'll hold a press conference immediately following an Open Market meeting. The Federal Reserve says the press conference is designed to "to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy communication." And Sunlight Live will cover it through our award-winning live blog platform. Joining us at 2:15 p.m. ET will be USA TODAY's financial reporter John Waggoner.

You should join us, too. Visit sunlightlive.com at 2:15 and follow the press conference in real time ...

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