Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation wonders about extending the idea in the infrastructure project into her territory: tracking Congress.
I wonder what the analogue to what might be in our world of Congressional activity? A Google map of earmarks? A map that reflects where lawmakers have their fundraising events with lobbyists? (Yes, still permitted.) A Gawker Stalker effort that tracks lobbyists visits in the halls of Congress? A map that shows the land deals lawmakers have that also shows earmarks from the same members? A map of lawmakers daily schedules, each point representing the location of the group/business/person the lawmaker is meeting with (not the location of the meeting). More ideas?
How about mapping a politician’s donors to see how much comes from local support vs. outside interests (i.e., how much comes from Washington itself)?
How about mapping that against corporate headquarters in industries (e.g., someone on a health oversight committee gets lots of donations from New Jersey because there are so many pharma companies there)?
How about timelines showing how active each congressman is, visualizing their productivity: bills introduced, votes, and such?
How about mapping that against the timing of donations from various industries, showing the correlation (if not cause-and-effect)?
I’d like to animate the Washington Post’s wonderful candidate tracker against time to see who’s paying attention to what states when and what pays off.