THE SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION...

THE SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION AND CONGRESSPEDIA. Today Jeff Birnbaum reports on the activities of the interesting new Sunlight Foundation, financed by securities bigwig Michael Klein and headed up by goo-goo veteran Ellen Miller. I was briefed on some of Sunlight's activities a few weeks ago; certainly one of their most compelling visions, looking forward, would be the expansion and perhaps integration of the valuable campaign finance information currently available in disparate databases like OpenSecrets.org (which is run by Miller's old shop, the Center for Responsive Politics). In conjunction with the Center for Media and Democracy, Sunlight has also launched a project called Congresspedia, which will use wiki open-source technology to provide comprehensive information on all members of Congress, with an emphasis on campaign finance and reform issues but not exclusively concerned with that. The hope is for this to take off like Wikipedia did through user contributions, and those involved have long-term dreams of this mobilizing the netroots and citizen researchers and having a real effect on politics. One doesn't have to be too starry-eyed to be impressed by the site as it's currently executed. If the enterprise catches on, it may prove very interesting to watch what happens on the site as oppo researchers on both sides kick into high gear this election season.

--Sam Rosenfeld

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