CongressionalForecast: Contribution Explorer

Brian Clifton

Imagine how power of data analytics and visualizations can be used to clarify the complicated economy of influence between members of Congress and those who 'donate' hundreds of thousands of dollars to certain politicians – this is the CongressionalForecast: Contribution Explorer.


As Lawrence Lessig said, “The system we have allowed to evolve keeps Congress perpetually dependent upon the Funders, while only biannually dependent on the people.” The influence of money in politics has exploded since Citizens United, and has taken a more dire path with the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the McCutcheon case. With our politicians continually aware that everything they do affects their ability to raise money, what can citizens do to understand this economy of influence? We need better tools to visualize, to engage, to make connections, and to understand how, why, and when our Congress is creating laws, and who really benefits from them.

Built using publicly available data, CongressionalForecast: Contribution Explorer is online suite of interactive infographics enabling people to explore and discover relationships behind political contributions.


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