releases 200 million government data records

Today the nonpartisan watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics announced the release of some 200 million data records from its archive "to the hands of citizens, activists, journalists and anyone else interested in following the money in U.S. politics." Snip from the press release:
The following data sets, along with a user guide, resource tables and other documentation, are now available in CSV format (comma-separated values, for easy importing) through's Action Center at

* CAMPAIGN FINANCE: 195 million records dating to the 1989-1990 election cycle, tracking campaign fundraising and spending by candidates for federal office, as well as political parties and political action committees. CRP's researchers add value to Federal Election Commission data by cleaning up and categorizing contribution records. This allows for easier totaling by industry and company or organization, to measure special-interest influence.

* LOBBYING: 3.5 million records on federal lobbyists, their clients, their fees and the issues they reported working on, dating to 1998. Industry codes have been applied to this data, as well.

* PERSONAL FINANCES: Reports from members of Congress and the executive branch that detail their personal assets, liabilities and transactions in 2004 through 2007. The reports covering 2008 will become available to the public in June, and the data will be available for download once CRP has keyed those reports.

* 527 ORGANIZATIONS: Electronically filed financial records beginning in the 2004 election cycle for the shadowy issue-advocacy groups known as 527s, which can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, labor unions and individuals. Goes OpenData (Via Clay Shirky)


  1. seems fair:
    “To download bulk data from, users must register on the site and agree to prominently credit the Center for Responsive Politics, along with other terms of service. CRP is making its data available through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license, which allows users to remix, tweak, build upon and share the Center’s work non-commercially. CRP will continue to offer its data to commercial users for a negotiable fee.”

  2. The service OpenSecrets provides is really pretty amazing. To gather together all this data and make it so readily available to the public is a very admirable challenge. I think it rocks.

    The OpenSecrets site has been nominated for a Webby this year. I encourage everyone to go check it out and cast your vote for it at the People’s Voice site:

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