Not everyone is quite ready to gear down for the long July 4th weekend. Our colleagues in Montana at the Institute on State Money and Politics, for example, just published their first newsletter. Check it out here.
The Institute -- also known as the DataShaq -- is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that compiles and analyzes campaign contribution reports for state-level candidates, political party committees and ballot issue committees. Their database of more than 15 million records is available on their Website, and is easily searchable within a given state and election year, as well as across the 50 states and multiple election cycles. It provides a wealth of information on the forces behind campaign contributions and public-policy discussions in the states. If you don't know their work, and are involved in state-based advocacy, you should. Greg Elin, who heads the Sunlight Labs, has been working with them for most of this week to develop their first APIs. Sounds like that work has gone extremely well.