Final Project NEW – “The Effects of Campaign Contributions”

As the next presidential election nears, I would like to explore how industries and companies contribute to political campaigns and what effect these contributions have on decision making and government policy. In short, I would like to show people some aspect about campaign contributions through a series of visualizations and interviews.

Breakout:

    • campaign contributors by industry and company displayed on website with data¬†interactions
    • poster to visualize findings in similar format as website for public space intervention
    • confront strangers on the street about the reality of campaign contributions; incorporate findings and poster based on research in interviews
    • post interviews on website with interviewee permission
There is a lot of information about campaign contributions available online. Here are couple of significant precedents:

http://maplight.org/– MapLight is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, research organization that reveals money’s influence on politics. 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 connects data on campaign contributions, politicians, votes, industries, companies, and more to show patterns of influence that could never be seen before.

http://www.opensecrets.org – OpenSecrets.org is the nation’s premier website tracking the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens’ lives.

http://www.govtrack.us – GovTrack.us is a tool by Civic Impulse, LLC to help the public research and track the activities in the U.S. Congress, promoting and innovating government transparency and civic education through novel uses of technology.

http://www.fec.gov – In 1975, Congress created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) – the statute that governs the financing of federal elections. The duties of the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency, are to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections.

Since there is a lot of data available, I will have to start the research phase ASAP. I will begin sketching out the site and poster based on these findings.

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