The Greenhouse browser plug-in is a simple and fairly brilliant idea. Once it is active the names of US politicians and candidates are hi-lighted (sort of like a link). When you scroll over the name a box pops up that shows you where the politician in question gets their donations.
The data, provided by OpenSecrets.org lists industries and the amounts donated as well as the percentage of their contributions that came from small donors (under $200).
So, for example, if you’re reading a congressman’s statements about climate change, one click will tell you how much of their campaign money came from oil interests.
The plug in was built by Nicholas Rubin, a self-taught, 16 year old programmer from Seattle.
“It is my hope that providing increased transparency around the amount and source of funding of our elected representatives may play a small role in educating citizens and promoting change. If you use the extension when reading about a Congressional vote on energy policy, for example, maybe you’ll discover that a sponsor of a bill has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry. Or maybe you’ll learn that the top donors to a member of Congress who opposes tort reform are lawyers and law firms. I use data from the last full election cycle (2012) and plan to update it as more relevant data becomes available,” said Rubin in a statement according to the Higher Learning.
The Greenhouse plugin is available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari from allaregreen.us.
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