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Research Guides

POL 200: American Politics

Follow the Money

Federal / National

CQ MoneyLine - comprehensive, timely & objective campaign finance & lobbying information with campaign donation and expenditure data going back to 1979-80

LobbyWatch (Center for Public Integrity) - federal lobbying in the U.S

usaspending.gov - data on all federal contracts (mandated under the Transparency Act, 2006) - search by contractor or recipient  

Taxpayers for Common Sense - independent, non-partisan voice, working to expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare.

Subsidyscope (Pew Charitable Trust) - a four-year study conducted raise public awareness about the role of federal subsidies in the economy

State

Money in State Politics (Institute on Money in State Politics) - view contributions to candidates by state, candidate, contributor, or special interest group

Follow the Money to Legislative Committees - (National Institute on Money in State Politics) - a mashup that allows you to see who has contributed to the members of state legislative committees

Interest Groups & Lobbyists

Tips on Identifying Interest Groups

  • Experts representing various interest groups often testify before Congress: Search Proquest Congressional for your topic, limit to Document Type: Hearings, and scan the text of the hearings for what groups are represented. Or search [your topic] + hearing in the library catalog.
  • Scrutinize news coverage carefully to find quotes from a spokesperson for an interest group or lobbyist
  • CQ Researcher often describes proponents and opponents on an issue - research these organizations

More on Money

Tools from the Center for Responsive Politics:

Tool from the Sunlight Foundation:

  • PartyTime - track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond