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Undisclosed donations. False information. Compromised elections. Corrupted democracy. The rise of online propaganda, political bots and fake news has jeopardized our ability to separate fact from fiction in a public discourse that has grown increasingly antagonistic to the truth.
One particularly enterprising potential partner is MapLight, which combines journalism, data and advocacy to fight back against the hidden forces who seek to disrupt our politics.
Founded 12 years ago to shine a light on money in politics, Berkeley, California-based MapLight has since expanded to add exposing the spread of intentionally misleading information online. MapLight works in three primary ways to illuminate and combat money’s role in politics:
- First, they advocate making money in politics a top political issue through a targeted use of contributions data and their own investigations.
- Second, they publish specific news stories based on their findings to push the government to act in citizens’ best interests.
- Third, the organization compiles Voter’s Edge, an online guide for nonpartisan information on candidates and how they’re funded, made through a joint project with the League of Women’s Voters.
Because of MapLight, communities across the country have made their governments more responsive to them. MapLight continues to expose how deeply money perverts our politics, pairing scrupulous investigative reporting with concrete policy solutions. If they had all of the resources they need, MapLight could reveal the scope of foreign and secret influences in our elections, and do so in alignment with groups who confront root causes and make changes at the system level.
Read the full article about the role of money in politics by Troy Price at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.