A kid created a browser app that shows you who is buying politicians

Greenhouse browser plug-in
Source: allourgreen.us
16 year old Nick Rubin created a browser plug-in called Greenhouse that lets you hover over politicians’ names on any web page to see which donors have given them money, and how much. Vice reports that it works in, “Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and is completely free.” Here’s more:

How does Greenhouse work?
It works by highlighting the name of any member of Congress on any website, and when you hover over these names a little box appears that shows detailed contribution information with amounts and where those amounts have come from. It’s basically a list of the top-ten industries from which they receive their money. My goal was to create something that promotes transparency. It would be great if people used it on sites where they’re reading about politics every day. For example, if you’re reading a piece on Congress votes for energy policy, you might see that a sponsor has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry. I like to say that Greenhouse allows people to see the money story behind the news story. read more

Political tracking & navigation tools

Type of tool/term Link What it does
Congressional voting records & bill tracking GovTrack Website provides info about Congresspeople and their voting records; about bills and what stage of the lawmaking process they are at.Open data for developers is available. And, you can sign up to receive email alerts for the bills or Congresspeople you’re interested in keeping tabs on.
GovTrack headers

Tools and terms to help you understand the 2016 Presidential Election

Democratic and Republican Political Symbols
Source: Survey Monkey
Type of tool/term Link What it does
Polls Daily poll List shows results of major polls and the point spread between top candidates in each race
Financial Terminology Campaign finance glossary Glossary of presidential campaign finance jargon
Bundling FEC Bundling FAQ FAQ on Lobbyist Bundling
OpenSecrets opensecrets.org Run by The Center for Responsive Politics. Mission: to Inform, Empower & Advocate
FollowTheMoney followthemoney.org The nation’s only free, nonpartisan, verifiable archive of contributions to political campaigns in all 50 states
Vote Smart votesmart.org 40,000 politicians, millions of facts
Political Compass politicalcompass.org Tracks the socio-political positions of politicians in democracies and in political races.
Greenhouse browser plug-in greenhouse.org Lets you hover over politicians’ names on any web page to see which donors have given them money, and how much.

Google tracks everything you do, but you can stop them

stop spying on usGoogle tracks every place you go and records every search you make. They also store voice recordings of every interaction you have with ‘Google Now’. If you feel this is kinda creepy or just like privacy, checks out these posts and learn how to turn off Google’s tracking and delete your stored history items:

Issues, news and fact checking for NJ’s 2013 election season

THIS ELECTION VOTE YOURSELF A RAISE! Vote YES on the ballot referendum to raise the NJ minimum wage to $8.25/hr

Also in the 2013 election cycle, all of New Jersey’s state level positions are up for election including Assembly, State Senate seats and the governorship. Federal and state elected officials have the ability to make changes to improve, approve or eradicate the issues listed below. Your vote and your voice make them accountable so be sure to vote. (Download issues flyer).

Vision test - VOTE

  • Protect the constitutional right of every US citizen to have one vote and get it counted
  • Fund and enact The Amistad Act which calls for racially accurate history to be taught in NJ schools
  • Food justice: eradicate urban food deserts and barriers to home & community gardening; ban of genetically modified foods (GMOs); make college food healthier and more affordable
  • Reverse Citizens United ruling that gives corporations the status of personhood
  • Take big money out of general elections (see rootstrikers.org)
  • Save the open internet and protect it from takeover and control by corporate interests (see savetheinternet.com)
  • Ban prison based gerrymandering which causes prison inmates’ families to lose government resources in their home states and counties
  • Stop privatization of schools, prisons, nursing homes and food services
  • Moratorium on foreclosures to protect 1 in 4 Black &Latino families who are in danger of losing their homes
  • Hold banks accountable for wrongful foreclosures, charging Blacks and Latinos higher mortgage interest rates, refusing to renegotiate underwater mortgages; and failing to provide maintenance on foreclosed homes – which contributes to the creation of urban blight zones
  • Lower US prison population. We incarcerate almost 1% of American citizens, about 2.5 million individuals, whom are mostly Latinos and African Americans
  • Protect civil rights including: ban racial profiling, stop unfounded searches and halt incarceration of non- criminal undocumented immigrants
  • Achieve diversity of court justices on every level of the judicial system
  • Transition to a green economy and protect clean air, water and the environment. Prevent climate change.
  • Provide help to families with homes in foreclosure, the unemployed and the hungry
  • Protect women’s health, lives, career opportunities; and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • Hold major corporation and government agencies accountable for diversity in hiring and the awarding of small business contracts
  • Make minimum wage equal a living wage and protect American jobs. Vote yes to the NJ 2013 ballot referen- dum to raise min wage to $8.25/hr!
  • Expand the scope of the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which offers important protec- tions including: financial institutions may not enact excessive credit rate hikes or provide misleading informa- tion about credit terms and fees
  • Support for women and minority students wishing to enter STEM fields
  • Protect Obamacare and fund affordable community health centers
  • Continue the Deferred Action program & pass the DREAM Act for undocumented immigrant youth; enact comprehensive immigration reform
  • Increase support for Historically Black Colleges and Minority Serving Institutions and protect public education
  • End government subsidies to big banks and dirty fuel companies. Invest more in public education and health.
  • Maintain affordable interest rates on student loans (impacts 140,000 NJ students) and lower college tuition.
  • Increase the amount of Pell grant dollars available for low-income studentsTrack Congressional bills