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Tag Archive: Research Tool

Resources Tool Kit: McCutcheon v. FEC

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Equal Justice Under Law

A major campaign finance case is up for oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The Sunlight Foundation put together a resources tool kit on the issues around transparency and disclosure of political contributions and campaign finance in advance of the case. You can also keep up with Sunlight's thoughts on it right here on our blog. About McCutcheon v. FEC On October 8, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC, a case in which the plaintiff, Sean McCutcheon, joined by the Republican National Committee, is challenging the constitutionality of the overall limit on contributions to federal candidates and political parties.

Looking for a full case overview and court documents? Check out the SCOTUSblog. Sunlight’s Take

 The Citizens United ruling three years ago opened up the floodgates and now this one may give those who can give more power. If the court rules in favor of McCutcheon and the RNC, it might as well tie a big bow around Congress and deliver it to a tiny percentage very rich.

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Research Tool Kit: Immigration bills, lobbying, issue ads and more

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Today, the U.S. Senate will consider the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill and to mark the occasion, we put together a handy research guide on everything we have on immigration policy. Legislation Follow the bill on Scout, and get updates on all immigration bills around the U.S., congressional speeches and more. Check out an interactive timeline that covers 125 years of immigration policy and legislation in the United States. Q: Who said “immigration reform” the most in Congress? A: Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) … even though he left office in 2009. Lobbying Since January, 61 people filed new registration forms, according to Sunlight’s Lobbying Tracker, with companies seeking more high-skilled foreign workers, led by the tech sector, driving the April and May uptick. This year already surpasses the 54 registrations from all of 2011 and 42 new reports from 2012 that reported immigration as an issue.

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New York Times Opens Archives Online

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Update: For some reason it appears the Times has pulled this awesome research tool. I'll try to find out why.

The New York Times launched an amazing research tool, creating a great online browser for all their content from 1851-1922. The Times is also offering the data in API so that, if you can, you can create your own browser. The Times blog says:

"As part of eliminating TimeSelect, The New York Times has decided to make all the public domain articles from 1851-1922 available free of charge. These articles are all in the form of images scanned from the original paper. In fact from 1851-1980, all 11 million articles are available as images in PDF format. To generate a PDF version of the article takes quite a bit of work — each article is actually composed of numerous smaller TIFF images that need to be scaled and glued together in a coherent fashion."

If you do research - or are in any way in need of scanning the 1855 adverts for local New York haberdashers - this is not to be missed. Check out the TimesMachine. (There might be some kind of server problems right now.)

The article to the left references a large scale congressional investigation into lobbyist actions in an attempt to block President Woodrow Wilson's tariff bill, a key element of his New Freedom agenda. The investigation sought to discover if Senators had been bribed or received undue influence from these lobbyists and ultimately required every sitting Senator to testify to their personal finances, campaign contritbutions, and relationships with lobbyists and other company agents. This amounted to the first full disclosure by members of Congress in regards to the personal finances, their campaign contributors, and the nature of the lobby. A first for transparency in Congress.

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