Most of the information on how much money industries give to politicians is out there, although it’s pretty much buried at government websites, which defeats the purpose, which may or may not be the point. You know your lawmakers have their benefactors and favorite special interests, but you have to go looking for them, even though simple donation tallies can tell you as much in a minute once you’ve got them than a 10,000 word article, especially if it’s a Politico article about Democrats in Disarray (!!) or the Death and Rebirth and Death of the Tea Party (!!)
How much better if after a vote on legislation is reported or before a vote is cast, you could simply scroll over the names of the people in Congress, hover over one for a second, and find yourself a lovely pop up window with a list from the last full election cycle of the officeholder’s industry donors, the amounts donated and the percentage of donations under $200 the lawmaker received.
There is an ap called Greenhouse that does just that, using information provided by the Sunlight Foundation.
Who designed Greenhouse? Nicholas Rubin, a Seattle high school sophomore who looks Harry Potter with the original Bieber hairdo. He’s not old enough to vote and he’s already had enough. The kids. They’re looking at you, K-Street!