Corporate Disclosures of Political Contributions Shed Light on Dark Money

This week a news report documented how three corporations made $1.6 million in contributions to pro-Trump dark money group America First Policies, a group whose leadership has previously made racist, sexist, bigoted and pro-Nazi statements. The story is also notable for how it used corporate disclosures of political contributions to provide insight into a 501(c)4 "dark money" group, which is otherwise not required to disclose its donors.

Read More

Internet Archive At Center of Joy Reid Blog Controversy

This week MSNBC host Joy Reid was called out over homophobic posts attributed to her political blog, The Reid Report, in the late-2000s. There are several fascinating elements to this story with important implications for how the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, and a complementary system called archive.today, can be used when documenting a since-deleted website.

Read More

Govtrack Database of Congressional Misconduct

Govtrack.us, a free website focused on following congressional legislation and lawmakers, has started compiling past and current congressional ethics investigations and other allegations of political malpractice against congress members.

Read More

Washington Post Video Guide to Submitting FOIA Requests

This video provides a good six-minute primer on how to submit an effective Freedom of Information Act Request, with insights from a couple of the Washington Post's FOIA power users. The video provides several solid pointers for submitting a request which we'll elaborate on here

Read More

Facebook Block Lists as Public Records

A pending lawsuit has the potential to establish precedent for whether the block lists of public officials’ Facebook and Twitter accounts are public records. These social media block lists effectively ban certain individuals and pages from communicating with an elected official’s social media account. 

Read More

State by State Guide to Personal Financial Disclosures

VR Research has prepared a 50 state guide for how to search and download Personal Financial Disclosures for state legislators and other statewide elected officials. These records are an essential resource when conducting research on public officials, to understand their business dealings, financial backgrounds and potential conflicts of interest. 

Read More

State by State Guide to Lobbying Data

Lobbying data is an essential resource when researching influence over elected officials. Lobbyist registrations and expenditures have become readily accessible to search and download, but access to this data varies widely by state. To make this easier to navigate, VR Research has prepared this 50 state guide for how to access, search and download lobbying data. 

Read More

Politicians' Deleted Tweets Now Archived and Searchable Again

Politwoops, an archive of tweets that politicians have deleted from Twitter after posting, is once again active and searchable. The website allows for searching of an individual politician's deleted tweets, filtering by state, political party or political office, and keyword searching. 

Read More