Greenhouse Plugin Reveals Your Congressman's Money Sources

Greenhouse is a new plugin for Chrome and Safari that automatically highlights the name of congresspersons and senators on web pages. Then, just hover over the name for a breakdown of where their secret campaign funding comes from.

All this thanks to 16 year-old programmer Nicholas Rubin.


(Greenhouse plugin in play)

The plugin works on any webpage and displays the percentage of campaign contributions by small donors, industry donations to members of the House and Senate, and whether or not they support reforming our corrupt system. With Greenhouse, you can follow the money and see the role of corruption plays in any issue whenever you read the news.

The new plugin comes courtesy of 16-year-old self-taught programmer Nicholas Rubin. Here’s what Nicholas has to say about his work: It is my hope that providing increased transparency around the amount and source of funding of our elected representatives may play a small role in educating citizens and promoting change. If you use the extension when reading about a Congressional vote on energy policy, for example, maybe you’ll discover that a sponsor of a bill has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry. Or maybe you’ll learn that the top donors to a member of Congress who opposes tort reform are lawyers and law firms. I use data from the last full election cycle (2012) and plan to update it as more relevant data becomes available. Special thanks to OpenSecrets.org for providing access to that data.

Fans of John Brunner remember the hacking exploits of young Nicholas Haflinger detailed in his amazing 1976 novel The Shockwave Rider. In the story, Nick codes a way to make hidden information about people and programs in the government readily available to anyone with access to the internet (or as he called it, the "data-net"):

AN ALARMING ITEM TO FIND ON
YOUR OVERDUE-TAX DEMAND

For the information of the person required to pay this tax:
Analysis of last year's federal budget shows that:
***17% of your tax dollar went on boondoggles
***13% on propaganda, bribes and kickbacks
***11% on federal contracts with companies which are a) fronting for criminal activities and/or b) partly or wholly owned by persons subject to indictment for federal offences and/or c) hazardous to health and the environment. Fuller details may be obtained by punching the code number at top left of this form into any veephone. They take about 57 minutes to present.
(Read more about Brunner's government data transparency)

Get the Greenhouse plugin; via Represent.US.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/18/2014)

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