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Seekr Search Engine Follows the Political Money December 14, 2006

Posted by publicpolitics in Government Transparency, Political Technology.
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If you’re a regular visitor to our site you noticed sometime last week, on the left side of our home page, our latest widget – we’ve dubbed it Sunlight Seekr. It’s the first step to a one click search engine that culls through multiple databases. We put it up last week to play around with it and it appears to be working just fine so today we are going public with it. At the moment it does a simple search of five data sets: our own Sunlight Foundation and Congresspedia sites, The Institute on State Money and Politics and Center for Responsive Politics sites for state and federal campaign contributions, and GovTrack.org. Type in the name of an individual, corporation, and zip code and see what pops up.

Ellen Miller, The Sunlight Foundation

The Sunlight Foundation follows political influence and money, in the name of greater transparency in government operations. One of their labs projects is worth a look. As described above , this little search engine can be used to research campaign contributions and other materials from five database. Search by zip code, company name, or individual name, and you will get some useful information. Among the results I got by entering my zip code was a list of the top campaign contributors in my area, both corporate and individual.

The Sunlight Foundation excels at making information available to the public, and in rendering publicly available information truly accessible. This search engine is in beta, and requires free registration at the Sunlight Foundation site. The site appears to work on a script, so you will need to disable popup blockers. Just click on the information bar “Options” button if you are using Firefox 2.0, or something similar. I haven’t tried Seekr with Internet Explorer.

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