Explore companies, lawmakers and prominent individuals that matter to you and see how they're influencing the political system
We're excited to announce that we're starting a new chapter in the life of Influence Explorer. Going forward, Influence Explorer's goal will be to get crucial influence data to you as soon as IT'S available. Our mission will be to publish useful data as soon as possible to support the work of reporters, watchdogs and researchers who need to know what's happening right now.
The necessary trade-off with live streams is that data quality will be heavily influenced by the quality of releases from the government. We'll be working iteratively to improve the automated systems that we've developed to improve that quality without sacrificing speed, but be aware that this data is not meant to be authoritative. Instead, it should be viewed as a resource for tracking live events and generating leads for new investigations.
So please explore these new resources, and give us your feedback!
Along with the changes coming to Influence Explorer, we'll also be phasing out the TransparencyData project. TransparencyData started more than five years ago as a resource for mashing up data from OpenSecrets.org and FollowTheMoney.org, along with a few other sources. In the years since, both OpenSecrets and FollowTheMoney have matured and today each makes their data available both in bulk and through APIs. At Sunlight, we're thrilled to see that, and recognize the limited utility of having a third-party API that republishes these resources.
With that in mind, and with huge congratulations to our partners at the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, we're retiring TransparencyData. Starting in September 2015, we are deprecating the Influence Explorer and TransparencyData APIs. They will be turned off beginning January 2016.
regularly updated news and analysis using Influence Explorer
This post is also available as an IPython notebook
Not long after we released our initial how-to introducing the new OpenFEC API, the 18F team announced that they were making even more available. This made our day because they quickly ticked off two items from the wish list we published: endpoints for itemized data and per-contributor and per-recipient aggregates. This followup post introduces some of the new additions and why they're so important.
What's (newly) available
The official documentation for the API is the best source for getting to know what it has to offer, but here are some of the new things you can look forward to interacting with:
- Filings - All of the official records and reports that committees file with the FEC. This includes all of the (many) forms listed on the FEC's forms page.
- Itemized Receipts - Schedule A itemizes a committee's receipts from individuals and other organizations. You can now explore the entire list of contributions that make up the receipt totals listed in financial reports.
- Itemized Disbursements - Schedule B itemizes a committee's disbursements such as campaign expenditures, staff payments, or donations to other committees. This gives the line items that make ...