Source: Center for Responsive Politics, Press release, April 13, 2009
Award-winning website from the Center for Responsive Politics now provides 20 years of downloadable money-in-politics data–for free.
Politicians, prepare yourselves. Lobbyists, look out. Today the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics is putting 200 million data records from the watchdog group’s archive directly into the hands of citizens, activists, journalists and anyone else interested in following the money in U.S. politics.
For the first time in CRP’s 26-year history, the nonprofit research group’s most popular data archives are fully and freely downloadable for non-commercial purposes from the Center’s website, OpenSecrets.org–a four-time Webby winner for best politics site online. OpenSecrets.org will remain the go-to independent source for most users interested in tracking money’s political influence and, in fact, the site has some new general-interest features as of today.
The following data sets, along with a user guide, resource tables and other documentation, are now available in CSV format (comma-separated values, for easy importing) through OpenSecrets.org’s Action Center:
* CAMPAIGN FINANCE
* PERSONAL FINANCES
* 527 ORGANIZATIONS
Source: David Ellerman, University of California at Riverside, February 2009
From the abstract:
Just as the two sides in the Cold War agreed that Western Capitalism and Soviet Communism were “the” two alternatives, so the two sides in the intellectual Great Debate agreed on a common framing of questions with the defenders of capitalism taking one side and Marxists taking the other side of the questions. From the viewpoint of economic democracy (e.g., a labor-managed market economy), this late Great Debate between capitalism and socialism was as misframed as would be an antebellum ‘Great Debate’ between the private or public ownership of slaves. Even though the Great Debate between capitalism and socialism is now in the dustbin of intellectual history, Marxism still plays an important role in sustaining the misframing of the questions so that the defenders of the present employment system do not have to face the real questions that separate that system from a system of economic democracy. In that sense, Marxism has become the ultimate capitalist tool.
Source: MAPLight.org, 2009
MAPLight.org, a groundbreaking public database, illuminates the connection between campaign donations and legislative votes in unprecedented ways. Elected officials collect large sums of money to run their campaigns, and they often pay back campaign contributors with special access and favorable laws.
This common practice is contrary to the public interest, yet legal. MAPLight.org makes money/vote connections transparent, to help citizens hold their legislators accountable.
MAPLight.org combines three data sets:
* Bill texts and legislative voting records
* Supporting and opposing interests for each bill
* Campaign contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics
Combining this data makes visible key information that could never before be determined easily. For example:
* Contributions given by interests supporting and opposing each bill
* Average donations given to legislators voting Yes and No on each bill
* Timeline of contributions and votes for each bill, graphically identifying when legislators received large donations before or after their vote.
Source: Annenberg Public Policy Center, FactCheck.org, February 24, 2009
Many claims of Democrats slipping in earmarks for frivolous projects aren’t true.
Do some of the Republican claims you’ve heard about the stimulus bill sound too awful to be true? We find a few that are wildly exaggerated or downright false.
Source: Washington Post, Newsweek, Slate, 2009
WhoRunsGov.com offers a unique look at the world of Washington through its key players and personalities. It’s your window into how deals get made and policy is shaped in the new Obama administration that is remaking the nation’s capital.
Source: Joel A. Middleton and Donald P. Green, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Vol. 3, 2008
From the abstract:
One of the hallmarks of the 2004 presidential election was the unusual emphasis on face-to-face voter mobilization, particularly face-to-face mobilization conducted within neighborhoods or social networks. Unlike previous studies of face-to-face voter mobilization, which have focused largely on nonpartisan campaigns conducted during midterm or local elections, this study assesses the effects of a campaign organized by MoveOn.org, an organization that allied itself with the Democratic Party in 2004 to aid presidential candidate John Kerry. A regression discontinuity analysis of 46,277 voters from 13 swing states demonstrates that neighbor-to-neighbor mobilization substantially increased turnout among target voters during the 2004 presidential election. Contact with MoveOn volunteers increased turnout by approximately nine percentage-points. This finding corroborates experimental findings showing the effectiveness of door-to-door canvassing but contradicts results suggesting that such mobilization is ineffective in the context of high-salience elections.
Source: James S. Bowman and Jonathan P. West, Public Administration Review, Vol. 69 no. 1, January/February 2009
From the abstract:
This study examines the ethical content of legislation regulating the political activities of civil servants. The analysis is done using the “ethics triangle,” a tool that encompasses the interdependence of results-based utilitarian ethics, rule-based duty ethics, and virtue-based character ethics. The discussion begins with the importance of the problem, followed by its evolution and current status. After describing the methodology, the central section investigates the values at stake. The conclusion provides a synthesis of the findings, explores the implications of the study, and attempts to answer the question posed in the title of the paper.
Source: Roland Zullo, Industrial and Labor Relations, Vol. 62, No. 1, October 2008
Using county-level data, the author evaluates how labor affected the general population’s political behavior during the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Voter turnout increased with unionization, but at declining rates with higher levels of unionization. The unionization/voter turnout link was stronger in counties with lower median incomes, higher income inequality, and lower levels of education, suggesting that unions partially closed the political participation gap between low- and high-SES (socioeconomic status) populations. State right-to-work laws, and the absence of collective bargaining rights for public employees, reduced labor’s ability to increase voter turnout. The union effect on candidate preference had a positive, curvilinear association with union membership, but this effect was stronger in high-SES regions than in low-SES regions. Overall, these results imply a paradox for organized labor: unions can effectively increase working-class voter turnout, but they have difficulty persuading the working class to vote for pro-labor political candidates.
Source: Horst Brand, Dissent, Vol. 55 no. 4, Fall 2008
Last January, the New York Times reported that assembly line workers at Detroit automobile factories, who have been earning around $28 per hour, would be “bought out” and gradually replaced by workers earning as little as half of that. … “In one industry alone, airlines, wage and pension concessions given back to employers since 2001… totaled over $15 billion,” Writes Labor Notes. Yet, output per hour in air transportation rose at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent between 1987 and 2005, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); it rose 3.8 percent in motor vehicles manufacturing. These to examples illustrate what is happening to the bargaining power of trade unions – a steady weakening, a loss that began with the defeat of the air traffic controllers strike in 1981 by Ronald Regan’s administration, a loss, therefore, that is political in nature. And it is in this sense that we must view the widening gap between the advances of productivity and the stagnation of working people’s incomes.
Source: Hewitt Associates, Press Release, September 23, 2008
Hewitt Associates is closely tracking developments in the 2008 U.S. presidential election that may ultimately have an impact on employers. A number of proposals already included in candidates’ campaigns have the potential to affect employer-provided health benefits, hiring practices, leave of absence policies, payroll, and employer-sponsored retirement plans.
•2008 Presidential Election: Candidates’ Health Care Proposals (updated 09/22/08)
•2008 Presidential Election: Candidates’ Retirement and Related Policies (updated 09/22/08)
•2008 Presidential Election: Candidates’ Employment Proposals (updated 09/22/08)