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Cost of Wars Since 2001

Public universities, for-profit colleges seek higher stake in student loans

Younger voters are notoriously disinterested in the political process, at least when it comes to elections for Congress. But a Sunlight Foundation analysis of student loan lobbying data suggests that major players in the political process are interested in them.

Since Congress voted in 2010 to push commercial banks out of the federally funded student loan market, lobbying by commercial banks on the subject has dropped significantly. But lobbying by other entities that have much to gain from keeping young adults in debt continues apace – especially higher education organizations, which have redoubled their efforts to ensure public lines of credit for school are not neglected.

Lobbying by the education sector increased from 315 total reports between 2008 and 2010 to 480 reports between 2011 and 2013 — a 52 percent increase. With a growing majority of students relying on loans to attend college, universities have obvious interests in ensuring access to credit.


Figure 1. Graphic credit: Sunlight Foundation

The most active education organizations are a mixed bag. Some, like Emory University (18 reports since 2008) or the University of Iowa (22 reports since 2008) are well-regarded and nationally-known institutions. Others, like Greater Caribbean Learning Resources (22 reports since 2008) are for-profit institutions. One of the most active colleges, Keiser Collegiate System (21 reports since 2008), is a for-profit turned non-profit.

When we zoom into the organization level, the most active organizations before the 2010 reforms were major student loan providers SLM Corp. (45 reports from 2008-2010), the parent company of Sallie Mae and First Marblehead (41 reports in 2008-2010). Interestingly, Ashland Inc. (a chemical company) and Eisai Co. Ltd. (a pharmaceutical company) were both quite active on “student loans,” but their interest in the issue was more indirect. Both firms held large positions in securitized student loans during the financial crisis when the securities market collapsed. They advocated for the government to restore liquidity to a “frozen” market in student loan-backed auction rate securities (SLARS).


Figure 2. Graphic credit: Sunlight Foundation

Notably, not a single organization dedicated to representing students’ or borrowers’ interests shows up in any of our lists.

Meanwhile, since 2010, financial sector lobbying declined (Table 1). In fact, lobbying reports mentioning “student loans” by both the securities and investments sector as well as commercial banks declined by 43.2 percent — from 373 reports (2008-2010) to 212 reports (2011-2013).

Sector Before Reform (2008 — 2010) After Reform (2011 — 2013)
Securities and Investments 218 128
Commercial Banks 155 84
Total 373 212
Table 1

Figure 3. Graphic credit: Sunlight Foundation

But financial lobbying on the topic of student loans didn’t go away. After all, there is still a thriving private student loan market.

Now, it’s the loan servicers who probably have the most to lose. One bill, introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mark Warner, D-Va., would change repayment structures. Rather than being on the hook for a fixed payment, borrowers would be on the hook for 10 percent of their annual income, capped at $10,000 a year. Another bill, is a proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to allow the 25 million or so individuals with outstanding debt to refinance their loans at lower interest rates, which would amount to a tremendous loss in revenue for loan servicers.

In general, loan servicers are compensated based on the unpaid principal balance. They also often get money from late fees. In other words, the easier it is for borrowers to pay off their loans, the less profitable it is to be a loan servicer. As a result, a lot of lobbying by loan providers is defensive; they profit from the existence of a student loan bubble, and anything that challenges it (including direct subsidy for higher education) is a threat to their business model.

While different organizations have different reasons for being active on student loans, a few things are clear: One, a thicket of organized interests care about the issue; two, the passage of the 2010 student loan reform bill changed that thicket; and three, not a single organization representing students or borrowers shows up in any of our lists of leading organizations.

[...]


Today in #OpenGov 7/31/2014

Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis, including expedited firing processes at the VA, press censorship in India, and the latest developments in the federal investigation into the operation of New York’s Moreland Commission.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov

National News

  • The House has passed a bipartisan bill that would make it easier to fire people in leadership positions at the VA. Employees would stop receiving pay on the day of their termination, and would have three weeks to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board. While the legislation passed 420-5, some expressed concerns that the expedited firings would violate due process. (GovExec)
  • In yet another instance of revolving-door politics inside the Beltway, incoming House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has hired Bill Hughes, a retail industry lobbyist, to head his policy team in his new House leadership office. (The Hill)
  • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has expressed concern over Verizon’s new policy of throttling Internet speeds for users with (grandfathered) unlimited data plans, and has asked the company to justify its policy. (Ars Technica)
  • Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have introduced legislation in the Senate that would amend the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act (FERPA) to define security practices and responsibilities for educational organizations and other entities that handle student data, including explicit prohibitions on providing personally identifiable information for marketing purposes. (Government Technology)

International News

  • Jordi Pujol, a figurehead for the Catalan nationalist movement, has been stripped from leadership and honorary leadership roles in Convergencia i Unio, Spain’s Catalan nationalist party after revealing that he had hidden millions of euros of his inheritance from Spanish tax authorities. (Reuters)
  • Although the recently-passed First Nations Financial Transparency Act requires First Nations chiefs and band councils to have published their financial statements online by the end of the day Tuesday via the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, few of the officials had done so. (CBC)
  • India is no stranger to restricted press freedoms. This time around, a combination of media cross-ownership and close relationships between moneyed interests, political actors, and the press have prompted the resignation of several high-profile journalists in recent months. (New York Times)

State and Local News

  • U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara has warned New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office against interfering with ongoing investigations into ethics cases left unresolved by the Moreland Commission, an ethics commission created and later dissolved by the governor. The New York Times reported last week on evidence that the governor’s office had interfered with the work of the commission, several commission members issued statements in response to the Times article, seemingly at the behest of the Cuomo administration. (New York Times)
  • Former New York City councilman Daniel Halloran III (R-Queens) was found guilty on Tuesday of taking bribes to facilitate the embezzlement of city funds and arranging for payoffs in a scheme to allow former State Sen. Malcom A. Smith, a Democrat, to run for mayor as a Republican. (New York Times)
  • When the executive director of Georgia’s State Ethics Commission, Holly LaBerge, claimed last week that the governor’s office had attempted to pressure her into settling ethics complaints involving Governor Nathan Deal’s 2010 election campaign, the governor claimed that he didn’t really know her. Nevertheless, recent documents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveal that Deal wrote a recommendation letter for LaBerge in June of 2013. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • The Florida Commission on Ethics dropped ethics complaints against both former Governor Charlie Crist and current governor Rick Scott, on the grounds that there was no legal reason to investigate the complaints. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

Events Today

  • From Big Data to Cloud Computing: How IT is Creating a New Era of Disruptive Innovation. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Thurs., 7/31. 1101 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Do you want to track transparency news? You can follow the progress of relevant bills, court cases, and regulations using Scout. You can also get Today in #OpenGov sent directly to your preferred news reader. If you would like suggest an event, please email mrumsey@sunlightfoundation.com by 7 am on the Monday prior to the event. 

[...]


Liberal groups to Joni Ernst: Keep the ethanol cash flowing

Two new ads unveiled on Wednesday take aim at Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst for her controversial remarks on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Controversial, because Ernst is running in corn-rich Iowa where ethanol is big business. That, combined with a Washington fundraiser hosted by representatives from ExxonMobil’s political action committee, has turned into fodder for Democratic groups looking to gain an edge in the competitive race.

The state’s Democratic party committee paid for one of the ads while NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC funded by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer sponsored the other. And statements from NextGen indicate there’s plenty more attacks coming.

The two newest ads hammer the same talking points and follow a familiar narrative: a candidate selling out voters in exchange contributions from shady special interests.

The Iowa Democratic Party’s online ad:

The ad from NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC founded by Steyer and focused on environmental issues:

The Iowa Democratic Party, pointing to a “fundraiser” for Ernst hosted by ExxonMobil lobbyists, tells viewers that “Iowans can’t trust Ernst because she stands with big oil and their big money,” mentioning the American Petroleum Institute and the omnipresent Koch brothers.

The online ad tells viewers that oil interests have coalesced behind Ernst because of her “philosophical” opposition to the RFS.

NextGen Climate Action estimates it has put $2.6 million into television ads in the Senate race. Wednesday’s ominous spot — featuring a mysterious villain and a suitcase of cash — hits Ernst for signing Grover Norquist’s “taxpayer protection pledge,” which the group says will lead to more outsourced jobs, hurting “Iowan farmers, workers and [the state's] clean energy economy.”

In a statement to Sunlight made on background, a NextGen Climate official further emphasized Ernst’s stance on energy and renewable fuels:

The ads are the latest in a string of messages dumping on Ernst for supposedly selling out to big oil. A radio ad from Americans United for Change tells listeners that Ernst’s ExxonMobil fundraiser is payback for opposing ethanol, while a TV ad from the Senate Majority PAC lambastes the candidate for sharing the Koch brothers’ priorities, including privatizing social security and cutting medicare’s guaranteed benefit “all to pay for more tax breaks to oil billionaires.”

See an invite to Joni Ernst’s fundraiser, collected by Political Party Time, below:

Reception for Joni Ernst by Sunlight Foundation

Palmer Gibbs contributing

[...]


Today in #OpenGov 7/30/2014

Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis, including Sen. Wyden and Sen. Udall amending for a more robust senate version of the USA Freedom Act, China’s corruption investigation against the most prominent government figure yet, and the indictment of a Kentucky state representative for campaign finance corruption.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov

National News

  • Sen. Leahy introduced his Senate version of the USA Freedom Act, intended to address online civil liberties and privacy. Sen. Wyden and Sen. Udall recently called this Senate version of the act out for not addressing backdoor “loopholes,” which the intelligence community heavily relies on to surveil. They plan to introduce an amendment to seal this loophole once and for all. (TechDirt)
  • The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to confirm Robert A. McDonald, the 61-year-old former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, to take the helm of the sprawling and embattled Department of Veterans Affairs after a scandal over the manipulation of patient wait-time data. (New York Times)
  • The food industry spent $9 million lobbying Congress to oppose laws requiring labeling for genetically modified products in the first quarter of this year, nearly matching its total spending for all of last year. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Starting later this summer, the Capitol Hill mainstay of C-SPAN will only allow people who sign in as a cable or satellite TV subscriber to livestream C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3 on the Web. (The Hill)

International News

  • President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption among the Chinese elite took public aim on Tuesday at its biggest target so far, when the Communist Party announced an investigation of Zhou Yongkang, the former chief of domestic security. (New York Times)
  • The Nigerian Federal Government is facing increasing pressure to embrace open data, and consequently, more public oversight. (Nigerian Tribune)
  • The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a participation portal for citizens to share their ideas with the government, as well as take part in online policy forums and volunteer in public sector projects. (FutureGov)

State and Local News

  • Kentucky state representative Ben Waide was indicted on two counts of violating state campaign finance laws for accepting $10,000 from a company and illegally reimbursing himself $6,000 from his campaign account, the state attorney general announced Tuesday. (Washington Times)
  • Following a recent string of appearances for a lobbying group advancing his mayoral agenda, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the lobbying group for accepting donations from private companies contracted by the city–an act usually prohibited for political candidates. (New York Daily News)
  • In the lead-up to the midterm elections, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie mingled with some of the GOP’s major donors at the Trump National Golf Course. (Politico)

Events Today

Events Tomorrow

  • From Big Data to Cloud Computing: How IT is Creating a New Era of Disruptive Innovation. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Thurs., 7/31. 1101 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Do you want to track transparency news? You can follow the progress of relevant bills, court cases, and regulations using Scout. You can also get Today in #OpenGov sent directly to your preferred news reader. If you would like suggest an event, please email mrumsey@sunlightfoundation.com by 7 am on the Monday prior to the event. 

[...]


Live from Chicago! Campaign finance data in real time

With election season heating up (statewide on November 4, 2014, and in Chicago on February 24, 2015), knowing who’s spending money on political campaigns has never been more critical. In Illinois, this kind of data is challenging to get, especially in bulk. Until now.

DataMade and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) are launching a new app today: Election Money — bulk downloads of campaign finance data from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Graphic of page linking to Election Money site, providing campaign finance downloads from the Illinois State Board of Elections
It’s easy to download Illinois campaign finance data on DataMade’s new site. Click to go to the page. (Credit: DataMade)

Election Money makes available Illinois campaign contribution and expenditure data from the Illinois State Board of Elections going back to 1994, to give journalists, activists and citizens access to documentation of records, including:

In addition to providing the data, which is updated daily, ICPR shares its expertise and insight into the context, origins, quality and meaning of this data.

Table showing details of data reported on DataMade's Election Money site
What’s available on the ElectionMoney site. Click graphic to go to page. (Credit: DataMade)

What can you do with this data?

We’re committed to keeping this data available and up to date. Now we need your help. Contained within this data is a treasure trove of information on candidates, political committees and donors that begs to be explored.

Here’s just a few ideas for ways you can examine this data:

  • Identify which donors are giving the most money to which candidates.
  • Find out which candidates have the most money on hand or have spent the most.
  • See which candidates — or elected officials — are in debt and to whom.
  • Find relationships among candidates, committees and donors.
  • Spot “money bombs” or late infusions of cash that may tip the balance in close races. Remember, our contributions files are updated daily.
  • Identify quid pro quos by linking campaign donors to beneficiaries of government benefits.
  • Identify where representatives are getting their funds: In state? Out of state? In district? Out of district? Our bulk data is sortable by address, down to the zip code.
  • See when political investors decide to double down on — or drop — a candidate. Our bulk data allows you to sort campaign contributions by date.

With this new access to our bulk data, we invite you to dive in!

Derek Eder is a co-founder of Open City, a group of volunteers in Chicago that create apps with open data to improve citizen understanding of our government through transparency, and owner of DataMade, a civic technology and open data consultancy.

[...]


Today in #OpenGov 7/29/14

Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis, including an announcement of Mayday PAC’s targeted races, judicial appointment reform in India, and (potential) new municipal broadband policy at the FCC.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov

National News

  • An examination of recently released lobbying and campaign finance records revealed that representatives of Alberta’s government made large donations to five U.S. senators within months of extensive lobbying in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the United States. (Toronto Star)
  • Mayday PAC, headed by Harvard professor Larry Lessig (a member of Sunlight’s Advisory Board) and Bush administration adviser Mark McKinnon, a political action committee formed to get money out of politics, has announced the first two of its five targets for the 2014 election cycle. Mayday will spend $4 million of its $12 million war chest on the New Hampshire Republican senatorial primary and the race in Iowa’s 3rd congressional district. (New York Times)
  • Anne Rung, President Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget, faced pointed questions from the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) pressed Rung to commit to better communication with the committee—by White House policy, OFPP career employees do not testify before the committee. (Federal News Register)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) have negotiated a $17 billion agreement to overhaul the sprawling and tragically ineffectual Department of Veterans’ Affairs. (New York Times)

International News

  • While fighting in Libya has raised questions about the ability of the new government to preserve law and order, questions of bribery and corruption in the ousted Gaddafi regime still remain that implicate major foreign companies in the United States, UK, Canada, and Norway. (Transparency International)
  • Tunisia has been an unexpected leader in internet rights in northern Africa. A new law on cybercrime has drawn protests from civil society actors, who expressed concerns that the new law would do away with user privacy and free speech protections. (Global Voices)
  • India is considering an overhaul of its system of judicial appointments. A recent exposé by retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju alleged collaboration between senior members of the judiciary in the appointment of a corrupt judge to the High Court of Madras. (The Hindu)

State and Local News

  • The FCC has begun taking comments on policy that would allow local/municipal governments to preempt state laws that prohibit cities from providing municipal broadband that competes with private Internet service providers. Restrictions on municipal broadband have already been passed in twenty states. The initial comment period lasts until August 29. (Ars Technica)
  • This year’s Senate Republican primary in Mississippi wasn’t run entirely by super PACs, but that future might not be too far off – 83% of defeated Senate hopeful Chris McDaniel’s campaign funds came from PACs outside of the state, and the percentage of funds coming from outside donors is on the rise around the country. (Washington Post)
  • A new law signed by New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan requires nonprofits that spend more than $5000 a year engaging in political activities to register with the Secretary of State and report their expenditures. (New Hampshire Public Radio)

Events Today

Events Tomorrow

Do you want to track transparency news? You can follow the progress of relevant bills, court cases, and regulations using Scout. You can also get Today in #OpenGov sent directly to your preferred news reader. If you would like suggest an event, please email mrumsey@sunlightfoundation.com by 7 am on the Monday prior to the event. 

[...]


OpenGov Voices: To be or not to be: Democracy in Fiji 2014?

An image of Andrea Abel van Es, Program Manager: Money, Politics & Transparency Project at the Electoral Integrity Project
Andrea Abel van Es, Program Manager: Money, Politics & Transparency Project at the Electoral Integrity Project. Image credit: Electoral Integrity Project

Fiji, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean is probably most renowned for its beautiful beaches and reefs, friendly population and its brutal military dictatorship in place since 2006.

In just over a month, on September 17, 2014 however, if all is true, Fijians will go to the polls in a historic multi-party parliamentary election.

So will this be an election to “break” the military dictatorship and restore democracy? Part of the answer depends on the extent to which the election will be characterized by fair competition – and one of the key determinants of ‘fairness’ is money. More precisely, the system of political finance regulation in place will greatly affect whether or not the political playing field is level.

According to the International IDEA political finance database, between 2003 and 2012, of the 72 countries for which time-series data is available, Fiji was the country that underwent the most radical increases in regulations of political finance.

As the figure below shows, in terms of total quantity of changes in regulations, Fiji sticks out like a sore thumb.

An illustration of the changes in regulations of political finance.

Regulations relate to four main issue areas; bans on donations, financial caps on donations and expenditures, disclosure requirements and public subsidies.  The correct mix and quantity of regulations should lead to greater transparency of the political system, greater accountability and ultimately a fairer competition.

But does the introduction of all these regulations in Fiji help to level the political playing field for parties wishing to contest the elections? Anecdotal evidence suggests not.

Limits on campaign spending, which have been set at a very low bar, are unrealistic according to many newer political parties. “To have an effective campaign for our party to reach the most amount of voters, we will need approximately F$250,000. With the limitations in political funding and constant auditing, we are limited to a piecemeal budget which we are aiming to be around F$100,000, relying on membership dues and fundraising.”, says Lynda Tabuya from the Peoples’ Democratic Party.

Insufficient funds to campaign also means that new parties face a considerable disadvantage when it comes to ‘brand recognition’, a fact further exacerbated by the massively skewed control over media. TV and radio have the furthest reach in terms of population in the Fijian islands, but one party, the Fiji First Party, has clear majority control of airtime. The Fiji First party, by the way, is headed by one Mr. Bainimarama, the former military officer/self-installed PM of Fiji.

From a basic human rights perspective, Amnesty International has already issued a strong condemnation of the harassment and treatment of journalists not pushing the ‘party line’ in the lead up to the elections

Even more bizarrely, the Fiji Elections Commission has recently issued a decree that parties may not appear with their party symbols on the ballot paper. Instead, three weeks before the election, each contesting party will be assigned a number and this number will be the only de-marker for parties on the ballot paper. Again, only those parties that can access adequate air-time to campaign around their newly assigned ‘number’ will probably gain traction with Fiji’s voters – not to mention problems associated with voters that may be illiterate.

On the one hand perhaps we should be breathing a sigh of relief that Fiji is holding elections at all. On the other hand however, we may very well be witnessing a case of new high and mighty political finance regulations actually entrenching an incumbent advantage for the Fiji First party, keeping the political playing field as skewed as ever.

It’ll be worth keeping an eye out on these elections – for better or for worse.

Dr. Andrea Abel van Es joins the Electoral Integrity Project team from her position as lecturer in the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies at Stanford University. She received her PhD in political science from Stanford University in 2011. Her dissertation was on civil society and interest groups during regime transitions, with a focus on the Communist transition in East and Central Europe. She is a co-founder of the IPRE Group, and consults for local and international development and aid organizations, particularly in the field of design and implementation of impact evaluation projects, as well as quantitative analysis more generally. Hungarian and Australian by cultural background, she speaks several foreign languages and has travelled and worked extensively overseas.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Sunlight? Email us at guestblog@sunlightfoundation.com

[...]


Philly Ad Sleuthing: Republicans are gamers; Democrats like gossip


A map of the station boundaries for KYW-TV, a CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. Source: FCC.gov

Candidates for office and other political advertisers dropped more than $4.6 million at a single Philadelphia station between April, 2013 and June, 2014.

A Sunlight Foundation analysis of 14 months worth of contracts at CBS affiliate KYW provides a glimpse at the relentlessness with which voters in key markets are bombarded with political messages — and intriguing details about how office seekers, political parties and other interest groups target them.

Our examination of the KYW contracts shows that Democratic candidates outspent Republicans by more than 350 percent, perhaps not surprising in a county where Democrats have a nearly 8-to-1 advantage in voter registration. The analysis is made possible by Political Ad Sleuth, a tool the Sunlight Foundation maintains to make ad files at the Federal Communications Commission readily searchable.

The majority of the ad buys came in October and May, ahead of two big regional elections: KYW’s signal stretches into southern New Jersey, which held its gubernatorial election in November. And Pennsylvania held its primary elections this year on May 20. But our analysis also shows that, in politics, the air wars tend to start early.

In contrast to ad-buying patterns at a North Carolina station Sunlight recently analyzed, the spending at KYW came primarily from candidates themselves: this year, from Pennsylvania governor hopefuls and last year, from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Outside spending groups didn’t make it into the top ten political advertisers on this station. The top outside spending group, the American Petroleum Institute, spent just $79,000 on KYW over this time period. Ad Hawk, a Sunlight mobile app that aggregates campaign videos, shows that API advertises heavily on issues of interest to the industry such as fracking, energy taxes and the Keystone XL pipeline. The trade association has run at least two ads targeting senators in the KYW viewing area: Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Delaware’s Democratic Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons.

What programming each candidate or organization bought against is also telling about the type of voters they were trying to court. (Spoiler alert: not unlike most of the world, the political class does not think highly of those who watch “Two and a Half Men.”)

While candidates of both parties favored news shows, Democratic candidates targeted the 11 p.m. evening news while Republican candidates targeted news aired earlier in the day. Democrats also dominated celebrity gossip shows — “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” — while Republicans hit game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” Overall, Republican, Democrat and independent spending groups targeted news junkies, with the top five targets for advertising being various news shows.

Political buyers also knew which shows to avoid. In very last place for political advertising was the reboot of “Hawaii 5-0″, with only one ad purchased during the entire year we examined. That purchase came from Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., whose gubernatorial campaign aired a 30-second ad during the police procedural on May 16 at 7:58 p.m. Four days later, Schwartz lost her Democratic primary battle to Tom Wolf.

Sunlight’s analysis of the KYW buys is part of a larger project to provide a detailed map of Philadelphia’s media landscape leading up to this November’s elections, when voters in the region will be deciding a hotly contested Pennsylvania governor’s race and several competitive congressional races in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The effort is headed by the Internet Archive. Partners include Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy, the University of Pennsylvania’s Linguistics Data Consortium and the University of Delaware’s School of Public Policy and Administration.

 

[...]


Musicians, writers, designers and … a big donor?

Megadonor Jeffrey Katzenberg made Sunlight’s list of Stealthy Wealthy. (Sketch by Lindsay Young/Sunlight Foundation) The list of National Medal of Arts awardees receiving their honors from President Barack Obama Monday afternoon at a White… [...]