The Sunlight Foundation has launched TransparencyData.com, a tool that allows users to filter and download state and federal campaign finance data from the National Institute of Money in State Politics and the Center for Responsive Politics.
Paul Blumenthal used the tool to examine campaign contributions made by Massey Energy, owner of the West Virgina mine where 25 miners died this week. He looked up contributions from the company’s owner, employees and the company’s PAC. He even discovered that a Massey employee is a state legislator and how much Massey employees contributed to get him into office and get him re-elected.
Sunlight Labs’ director Clay Johnson introduced the tool and there’s a tutorial for using the it on the home page.
Sounds like a tool that could be used to investigate links between legislators and other elected officials and any number of companies and players in health care. The data behind the tool can be downloaded as CSV files so you can do your own analysis as well.