Holding individual politicians to account in an age of big data should be more than possible. It should be trivially easy. The basic challenge is surfacing salient details amid ongoing noise — which is exactly where technology tools can shine.
Robust local news media, which traditionally played the scrutinizing role, has undoubtedly been weakened by the Internet. Which is why Solomon Kahn, who runs Paperless Post’s data team during the day, is building (and crowdfunding) a data visualization tool for U.S. political campaign contributions — to make it easier to follow the money to identify any corrupting influences on federal politicians.
He wants it to be a tool for journalists, as well as a way for the U.S. public to more easily understand their political representative’s corporate/union interests. He’s aiming for each politician tracked by the tool to have an overview landing page where salient details about how they finance their political campaign are surfaced. Users will be able to submit any notable details they discover — so he’s also looking to…
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