FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free web app tracks money and bills in Texas politics
Influence Texas web app tracks who gave how much to Texas lawmakers and 2019 bills lawmakers are sponsoring
AUSTIN, Texas – March 21, 2019 — Influence Texas and Texans for Public Justice announce the release of Influence Texas OS Version 2, an open source web app providing campaign finance records of Texas state politicians, enabling taxpayers to track the influence of money in politics.
For the first time Texans can track top contributors and donations from the most recent election cycle and share them on social media.
“This data-driven solution combats misinformation and provides government transparency,” said Amy M. Mosley, co-founder of Influence Texas, a nonpartisan public benefit corporation dedicated to educating the Texas electorate. “With this product any person can easily find out who gave the most to Texas state lawmakers without any partisan editorializing or filtering,” said Michael Rollins, Influence Texas co-founder.
The free web app also creates easy access to bills that each lawmaker has sponsored, allowing users to independently assess financial influence in the legislative process.
The Influence Texas OS open source web app uses campaign finance records provided by the Austin-based liberal nonprofit Texans for Public Justice, which has reported on political corruption and corporate abuses in Texas since 1997.
“For over two decades TPJ has gathered campaign contribution and expenditure data filed with the Texas Ethics Commission by all candidates, political committees, and political parties. We then process that information through a proprietary database,” said TPJ Director Craig McDonald. “TPJ is excited to directly reach a larger audience by collaborating with the Influence Texas open source project.”
The open source app began as a project at ATX Hack for Change in June 2017 and is also supported by Open Austin, a volunteer organization affiliated with the nonprofit Code for America that advocates for open government, open data, and civic application development.
"Outside of immigration and border control, political corruption of leadership is a key concern for Texans and an issue of open government. By making data of our representatives more accessible and meaningful, Influence Texas aligns with Open Austin's mission of advocating for open government through the use of data, technology, and design," said Open Austin Brigade Co-Captain Victoria O'Dell.
About Influence Texas, P.B.C.
Influence Texas, P.B.C. is an Austin-based, nonpartisan public benefit corporation formed in June 2018 with the mission of informing the Texas electorate by aggregating and disseminating politicians' campaign finance records and voting records, so users can track the influence of money in politics. Learn more at www.influenctexas.com.
About Texans for Public Justice
Texans for Public Justice is an Austin-based non-profit organized in 1997 to take on political corruption and corporate abuses in Texas. Through intensive research and public advocacy the organization hopes to add a clear voice to debates on political reform, consumer protection, civil justice, and corporate accountability. TPJ obtains contribution and expenditure data dutifully filed with the Texas Ethics Commission by all candidates, political committees, and political parties and processes the information through a proprietary database. Learn more at www.tpj.org.
About Open Austin
Open Austin is a volunteer citizen brigade advocating for open government, open data, and civic application development since 2009. It is an official brigade affiliated with the nonprofit Code for America which believes government can work for the people, by the people in the 21st century. Learn more at www.open-austin.org.