Teenager builds browser plug-in

that allows You to see

Who Funded Politicians

senator_stern_greenhouse

Here’s an essential tool to help us make politicians work for us, not for corporations. It is a browser plug-in named “Greenhouse” and it lets users easily access information on where our public servants get their campaign donations from.

The creator of Greenhouse is a 16-year-old self-taught programmer named Nicholas Rubin. He explains on his website that “even though I am only 16 years old, not quite old enough to vote, I am old enough to know that our political system desperately needs fixing. I hope that this tool is one step in that direction.”

Rubin says he got the name of his plug-in from a desire for transparency, like the glass walls of a greenhouse.

“It is my hope that providing increased transparency around the amount and source of funding of our elected representatives may play a small role in educating citizensand promoting change. If you use the extension when reading about a Congressional vote on energy policy, for example, maybe you’ll discover that a sponsor of a bill has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry. Or maybe you’ll learn that the top donors to a member of Congress who opposes tort reform are lawyers and law firms. I use data from the last full election cycle (2012) and plan to update it as more relevant data becomes available. Special thanks to OpenSecrets.org for providing access to that data.

The motto of Greenhouse is: “Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.” What it signifies is that the influence of money on our government isn’t a partisan issue. Whether Democrat or Republican, we should all want a political system that is independent of the influence of big money and not dependent on endless cycles of fundraising from special interests.

The United States of America was founded to serve individuals, not big interests or big industries. Yet every year we seem to move farther and farther away from our Founders’ vision.”

The information in the popup is from the last full election cycle, because it is the most complete data available. Rubin gets his information from the Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets website, which tracks lobbying and campaign contributions, and plans to keep it updated as often as possible.

Get Your Plugin from here.

Webmaster’s Note: Of course, this still doesn’t handle the problem with deals done in secret, especially through the system of Freemasonry, but it’s still a good step in the right direction. Ultimately, every penny spent and law should be made available to all of us in a super-easy-to-understand format.

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