TITLE: Center for Responsive Politics

ACCESS: http://www.crp.org/

A hot topic in politics these days is the amount and source of funds in elections and political actions. The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which describes itself as a "non-partisan, non-profit research group," provides a wealth of information on campaign finance and related topics on their website. Funding for the Center comes from a variety of foundations and trusts, including the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

This site will be of benefit to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students and instructors in a variety of disciplines such as political science, government, journalism, and law. CRP's mission is to get citizens more involved in government and to encourage Congress to be more responsive. Topics introduced on the homepage include politicians, political action committees (PACs), individual donors, political parties, and the law and its regulations. While the focus of the site is on politics at the Federal level, there is a state directory with links to each state's agencies related to campaign finance issues.

All of the databases on the CRP site are well-organized and easy to use. Users will find that the pages for each database provide many search options. For example, the Congressional Travel Database allows for searching by lawmaker, by sponsor, or by destination.

A particularly noteworthy section of the site is the "Registered Federal Lobbyist Database." Based on information from the House and Senate, this site provides searching by company name, client name or lobbyist name within data filed by those who lobby at the Federal Level. Other databases of interest include the 1998 Congressional Candidate Profiles database, the PAC Database, Incumbent Campaign Finance Profiles, and the 1996 White House Coffee and Sleepover Database.

To keep up with the latest campaign-finance issues, users can sign up to receive Monday Morning Alerts, which cover special interest legislation in Washington. These Alerts are emailed weekly at no charge.

With a lot of data to maintain, the CPR staff does an impressive job of providing reports of interest to the general public. This site would benefit anyone wanting to know who provides and who receives the financing for participating in United States Politics.

Doralyn H. Edwards
GIS/Data Librarian
Rice University

© American Library Association. This document may be reproduced or reprinted for educational, non-commercial use, in whole or part, without permission as long as the above copyright statement and source are clearly acknowledged. Neither this document nor any reproductions may be sold.