Bookmarklet lets you know how the companies you buy from lobbied Congress

Nicko from the Sunlight Foundation sez, "Before Americans open their wallets for Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), the Sunlight Foundation encourages consumers to first explore the connection between their spending and politics in Washington. Checking Influence, a secure bookmarklet that analyzes financial statements with one click, exposes the lobbying activities and campaign contributions of companies you frequent. "

Checking Influence | Influence Explorer (Thanks, Nicko!)


  1. Realistically, the only way to avoid indirectly handing your money to lobbyists is to buy handmade products from small, local businesses and to never join any type of organization.

    1. Not really, what if those businesses support the businesses who lobby? IT support / logistics / etc.
      Where do you draw the line on these things?

    1. Me either, I’ve tried it on a dozen sites and nary a result.
      I’ve even tried Wells Fargo, which is on their list of top lobbying companies- nothing.

  2. It’s strange that Ron Paul’s top contributor is the US Army. Although I guess that, in a way, it makes perfect sense.

  3. This thing is a piece of crap–2% matches on my accounts.  Even the example on their own website only returns 4%!  I tried to use the “edit” button to fix some of the non-matches, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.

    1. Would be cool if it did. I’d love anything that makes it easier to find union-made made goods or union-associated merchants.

      Oh. That’s not what you meant? I see.

  4. Security guy in me wonders about a tool that requires you to go to a page with financial transactions on it to make it work.  Just what info is it sending, what’s the level of trust here.  Given it’s spotty reliability (based on previous comments,) easier to pass than take the risk.

  5. Why is everyone blindly allowing access to their financial transactions for a tool that doesn’t really work? If you still want to look at what these people are doing you can go to and search the old-fashioned way (you know, putting text in a box;))

  6. Sunlight Foundation = the good 1%ers, right? Anyway, if Bunny and Charles Burson are in, I’m in. He’s worked for Al Gore AND Monsanto. And Bunny’s done artwork with hanging chads.

Comments are closed.