Mission: To produce and disseminate data and analysis on the role of money in politics with the aim of exposing disproportionate or undue influence on public policy.
Background: Founded in 1983 by U.S. Senators Frank Church (D-ID) and Hugh Scott (R-PA), the Center for Responsive Politics published its first comprehensive look at the amount and role of money in American politics in 1990 and followed that with the launch of OpenSecrets.org in 1996. The launch of the website greatly accelerated the timing and depth of the center's research and served to make it more readily available to those making decisions about candidates running for federal office and the policy issues they care about. For the 1998 elections, the center produced online contribution profiles for every federal candidate well before Election Day, and in 2000 it unveiled several new groundbreaking features on the site, including detailed contribution profiles of more than one hundred industries and special interest areas, fundraising breakdowns for federal party committees, and analyses of contributions from special interests to members of specific congressional committees.
Outstanding Web Features: Visitors to the OpenSecrets site can track federal campaign contributions and lobbying by lobbying firms, individual lobbyists, industry, federal agency, and specific legislation. In addition, the site provides personal financial disclosures for all members of Congress, the president, and top members of the administration. Visitors to the site also can search by ZIP code for legislator-specific factsheets and learn how neighbors in their own zip code are allocating their political contributions; stay abreast of breaking news and analysis; learn more about the Trump administration's pledge and actions to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C.; search for donors by name; and search Form 990s (the annual tax form nonprofits are required to file with the IRS) to learn more about individual nonprofits' political activities, financial links, and hidden networks.