The Center for Responsive Politics has opened its campaign finance database — a treasure trove of US money-in-politics data going back some 20 years — to the public under a Creative Commons license. An API also allows third parties to build web applications using that data, similar to what you see in the fantastic MAPlight.org site. Ars Technica explains what that means, but I can already see this being a powerful asset to little apps like repsheet.com.
Global Integrity is a big fan of open databases like this; as regular readers may know, all of our work has been released under a Creative Commons – Attribution license for a few years now. Our databases are downloadable here.
I think it’s important for public interest and open government groups to walk-the-talk on transparency, and I’m glad to see the Center for Responsive Politics is with us.
— Jonathan Eyler-Werve