Saturday, 9 August 2008

Monitoring US politics - follow the money - - from Scout Report

The Internet Scout Report has been one of my Saturday sources for as long as I can remember being online. Though the mileage can vary, especially around its USA centric viewpoint, it does offer a weekly round up of some interesting sites and projects of interests, especially around the humanities, politics and cultural/heritage collections.

This week they have this little jewel which I thought, given the upcoming US election might be of interest. It also fits nicely with the widely held view that US politics has to be carefully monitored in terms of special interests and big corporates ability to control, or shape the political process inside the USA, and, as a consequence the globalisation agenda whereby other states have to sign up to the US way of doing something.

So thanks Scout for this one. And never fear, I will do the obligatory Scout acknowledgement at the end.

" Every citizen of the United States (and anyone else with an interest in politics) should take a close look at the website. This rather innovative database brings together three unique data sets including bill texts, legislative voting records, and supporting and opposing interests for each bill.

This data allows users to determine the contributions given by interests supporting and opposing each bill and the average donations given to legislators voting "Yes" and "No" on each bill.

Currently, covers the California Legislature and the U.S. Congress and first-time
visitors may wish to start by watching the six-minute introductory video which explains all of the bells and whistles on the site.

After that,visitors can click on either the "California" or the "U.S.Congress"sections of the site to learn about current voting patterns related to interest groups (such as teachers unions and the health insurance industry), legislators, and pending bills. Moving on, the site also offers up a presidential money race widget that can be customized in a variety of ways.

Visitors may also wish to sign up to receive email updates and they are also welcome to send along feedback. [KMG]

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2008.