March 9, 2012 •
The much anticipated government ethics clearing house is here as the White House promised.
The Obama administration has unveiled Ethics.gov, the site that provides sets of data for those interested in White House visitors, data from Lobbying Disclosure Act reports, campaign finance data, travel records of elected officials, and much more.
As part of the larger Data.gov, the new site has a great deal of muscle: “Ethics.Data.gov brings records and data from across the federal government to one central location, making it easier for citizens to hold public officials accountable.”
According to the Ethics.gov site, this is what you’ll find:
“On www.Ethics.gov, the public will be able to find millions of White House Visitor records. You will be able to see agency reports of payments from non-Federal sources for travel to meetings and conferences.
You’ll find records for entities registered with the Federal Election Commission. This includes federal political action committees and party committees, campaign committees for presidential, House and Senate candidates, as well as groups or organizations who are spending money in connection with elections for federal office.
You’ll also find records for each candidate who has either registered with the Federal Election Commission or appeared on a ballot list prepared by a state elections office. This includes contributor information for each contribution of $200 or more from an individual to a federal committee.
Finally, you’ll be able to find lobbying registrations and reports filed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.”
For a good summary, read “White House Launches Ethics.gov” by Samuel Rubenfeld in The Wall Street Journal.