The OpenSecrets API provides access to the data displayed on OpenSecrets.org. OpenSecrets performs research to track money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Use the API to access a politician's top contributors, personal financial disclosures for a politician, and more.
In big news on the government data and transparency front, the premier provider of federal campaign finance information, Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), have announced they are opening for bulk download 20 years worth of data used to power their web site OpenSecrets.org. More than 200 million records are being made available of itemized contributions, campaign spending, lobbying, personal finance, and sponsored travel. CRP began tracking campaign contributions in the late 1980s. Their stats and staff are trusted and quoted by the Media as the gold standard reference.
Do you want to use the power of open APIs and mashups to help make the US Congress more accountable, interactive and transparent? If so, then you'll want to enter the new Apps for America Mashup Contest from the good folks at the Sunlight Foundation. Like last year's Mashup Congress contest, this is another notable competition from Sunlight, whose nonprofit mission is to help organizations use Internet technologies to make information about Congress and the federal government more accessible to the American people to create a "catalyst for greater political transparency and to foster more openness and accountability in government."
The non-profit Sunlight Foundation, whose mission is to help others use the Internet to make information about the US government more accessible (and we've covered previously), recently released a very enlightening visualization of campaign contributions from 1990-2008, broken down by industry sectors and party lines.