Posts

Taking on Predatory Lending in Idaho

Thousands of Idaho residents are strapped for cash. The economic recession has devastated the lives of Idahoans across the state. As the need to make the dollar stretch increase, financial resources from traditional banks decrease.

Payday loan centers have seized an opportunity to profit from the misfortune of those in need.  Predatory lenders have lined the sidewalks of low-income and communities of color with promises of instant cash and no credit checks.  Having no available alternatives, residents are left to turn to payday loan centers for relief; but that relief keeps coming with a cycle of interest rates as high or higher than 520%. Read more

Corporate Interests Dominate List of Top Super Committee Donors

Four banks, two large corporations, a conservative political action committee (PAC), and a law firm serving corporate, industrial, and financial institutions dominate the list of top 10 campaign donors that contributed to members of the bipartisan congressional “Super Committee,” setting the stage for a historic revenue showdown.

These entities contributed a total of $4.5 million, or 79 percent of total contributions on the top 10 list, to members of the newly formed group of six Democrats and six Republicans, according to a study by MapLight.org. Read more

Hitting the Jackpot

This is part thirteen in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

In a state known for excess and wealth that does not extend to most of its residents, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) dug up the dirt on political campaign contributions. PLAN published three reports, one of which they titled the “Jackpot Report,” because they had found a stash of money politicians had been hiding from public record. Read more

Project Vote Smart

Role in the Landscape

This is part twelve in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a transparency/data organization with a vast collection of data on candidates and incumbents. Their website, http://votesmart.org/, allows users to search at the presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative levels. Read more

Good Jobs First

This is part ten in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Role in the Landscape

Good Jobs First focuses on corporate subsidies and works to promote corporate and government accountability around subsidies, economic development, and smart growth. They work with organizations by providing research, training, communications and consulting assistance. Read more

Sunlight Foundation

This is part nine in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Like MapLight.org, the Sunlight Foundation is a technology-oriented group that connects their own federal data (lobbyists and fundraisers) with other sources such as http://opensecrets.org/ and http://followthemoney.org/. Sunlight does not take positions on campaign finance reform or other issues. They are, however, very interested in training and supporting grassroots groups on the tools they offer.

The Sunlight Foundation provides funding for the creation of “cutting-edge tools to enable the media, bloggers and citizens to sift, share and combine government data in ways that are useful for them.” Read more

MapLight.org

This is part eight in a series of posts that will explore some of the leading organizations from around the country that are engaged in unearthing and combating the influence of money in the political process.

Role in the Landscape

MapLight.org tracks the influence of money in the U.S. Congress as well as in California and Wisconsin. Their research team and free online tools shed light on the connections between political inputs (such as campaign contributions) and political outputs (such as legislation). Their data partners include the Center for Responsive Politics, GovTrack, National Institute on Money in State Politics, and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Read more