Following the money

I know of two sites with more information on campaign finance than you’ll ever need. The first,, takes a top-down view of political donations and expenditures, showing things such as the employers of top donors. I especially like the page describing donations and ambassadorships.
In contrast, shreds its data a bit more finely and has a GIS bent to it. One feature allows a user to search for individual donors by address or name. The “top addresses” feature is cool – how else would I know that people who claim the address of 975 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, MA (including someone who’s either unemployed or a housewife and another who’s a clergy spiritual counselor), have donated more than $100,000 to the DNC and Democratic candidates?
These are two more fine examples of the Internet giving new meaning to the term “publicly available data.” Maybe we can’t remove money’s influence from the process, but at least now we can see who’s buying access.