This week featured a brilliant website called MapLight,

Don’t let the fact that this came out of Berkeley scare you. MapLight follows the money trails from organizations and corporations to legislators and legislation. In other words, you can see where political contributions are coming from and what they’re intended for.

Click around on the various tabs and you can learn detailed information on each legislator, such as who their contributions are coming from and geographic information on which area finances them. You can find out which industries are the top contributors to which legislators. There are news stories and information on bills in the works. Both information junkies and citizens who just plain care what goes on in government will enjoy how this website connects the dots.

I am a staunch capitalist who isn’t going to make vague generalizations that rich people are evil and corporations are bad for us. However, I believe very strongly in accountability and transparency and have hefty opinions about corporate and political corruption. I am outraged over so-called bailouts and the inbreeding between politicians and lobbyists. Repositories of information like this can help us understand what’s going on in the political machine.

Remember, the government has no money. That’s our money. This is our government. Knowing where such money comes from and where it’s going isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a matter that concerns every American. Thomas Jefferson said that we in American do not have a government by the majority, we have government by the majority who participate. Check out who’s participating and see how well they’re representing your interests. You have the right to speak up if you’re dissatisfied.

©2012 H. Hiatt/ All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/

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