Web Site Shows You Your Neighbor's Campaign Donations
The Honolulu Advertiser
It's snooping on the neighbors with a political edge, courtesy of a new Web site. Just type your address and ZIP code into the "Neighbor Search" tool at fundrace.org, and you'll get a list of what your neighbors gave to any of the presidential candidates last year - and how much. Your nearest neighbors are listed first.
Candidates, by law, are required to disclose contributions of $200 or more, and the Federal Election Commission makes databases available for download. Electronic filings are currently available through Dec. 31, and the site's developer, Michael Frumin, plans to add data as they become available. Frumin said Friday the site has attracted some 100,000 searches, from an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people, since the feature's launch Wednesday. He said the site benefited from mentions on prominent Web sites and Web journals. Fundrace.org is a project of Eyebeam, a New York organization that explores the intersection of arts and sciences.
Other sites have more extensive databases and searching capabilities. Opensecrets.org, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, lets you search by state, occupation or employer and has data going back to 1989. It also permits searching of so-called soft money to party organizations, in addition to direct contributions to candidates. The FEC site, at www.fec.gov, also lets you do that using its "advanced search."