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March 21, 2004 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Wanna know what your neigbors gave, and to whom? Fascinating site although I'm not too sure whether its a good idea.
posted by donfactor (52 comments total)

 
Holy Cow! I live three blocks from Bob Graham supporter Walter Mondale.
posted by trharlan at 10:53 AM on March 21, 2004


Holy Cow, also! Bette Midler lives in Nashville?
posted by sklero at 11:02 AM on March 21, 2004


Cambridge and Brookline in seas of blue.
posted by trharlan at 11:05 AM on March 21, 2004


It's a great idea. Now I know not to patronize the only business in my neighborhood that supported Bush.
posted by 2sheets at 11:12 AM on March 21, 2004


It's nice to see that his mother contributed, but where's the rest of the family? Laura?
posted by Geo at 11:13 AM on March 21, 2004


There are no secrets under The Eye.
posted by Quixoticlife at 11:20 AM on March 21, 2004


FundRace was already discussed on MeFi, but this is a cool new feature. Thanks.
posted by thebabelfish at 11:24 AM on March 21, 2004


Figures.
posted by anathema at 11:25 AM on March 21, 2004




Wow, this is awesome! I did actually notice many of my old Professors and was surprised by the way that some of them voted.

Does this mean that the obnoxious left/right-wing student who feels that the teacher is grading him/her on politics will now use this information to out their Prof in class?
posted by crazy finger at 11:35 AM on March 21, 2004


We have secret ballots, sure, but more direct meddling in the democracy should certainly be public domain information. We should know who the secret oligarchies are funneling the cash into the elections.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:37 AM on March 21, 2004


It's a great idea. Now I know not to patronize the only business in my neighborhood that supported Bush.

ditto.

this comment is not affiliated with rush limbaugh
posted by quonsar at 11:38 AM on March 21, 2004


We should know who the secret oligarchies are funneling the cash into the elections.

At 2 grand per head, isn't "oligarchy" a bit of a stretch?
posted by trharlan at 11:40 AM on March 21, 2004


(though it definitely was wierd to find out that one of my favortie math instructors - a retired professor about 70 years old - contributed $250 to Dean...)
posted by kaibutsu at 11:40 AM on March 21, 2004


Interesting that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett contribute to different parties. Seems to underscore what Buffett has always been about, namely, looking at broad, long-term goals instead of the quick fix. Oh, and having some principles in the first place, especially when it comes to corporate accountability. Buffett has consistently turned down offers to invest in Microsoft.
posted by anathema at 11:46 AM on March 21, 2004


Like with sex offenders, it is good to know when the insane are living in your neighborhood. Some couple on my block each gave $1,000 to Kucinich.

Interestingly, the zip code in which I grew up appears to not have a single contributor in it.

Having to disclose this is more than enough reason why I will never give money to a political campaign.
posted by obfusciatrist at 11:46 AM on March 21, 2004


The contribution that this will make to a more transparent democracy is amazing. I am somewhat concerned about soft money, though. If I write a letter to Mr. A who owns a business in my town informing him that I won't buy from him any longer because he gave to Bush, will it be more likely that he'll give soft money to some group next time so that we won't be able to track it?
posted by crazy finger at 11:46 AM on March 21, 2004


Well, I'm surrounded by Deniacs in Manhattan, except for some lawyer in my building who gave to Bush. Meanwhile, in my hometown, which has been economically depressed for a gazillion years, it would appear that people with very little money are giving what they have to Bush as well. I guess they're hoping to hit the lottery and get those tax breaks.
posted by Slagman at 12:11 PM on March 21, 2004


I was talking about this with a friend, and he was very concerned about the stalking capabilities of something like this.

Anyone have any thoughts on the potential use of this tool, by people looking to harrass those with contrasting political views?
Couldn't some overzealous pro or anti-Bush people use this to find out where people who disagree with them live, and then stalk/harrass/annoy them for their views?

Or do we just hope that people have better things to do with their time? (If that's the case, well...have any of you ever met a hardcore G.O.P. zealot? "Better things to do with their time" rarely applies)

I'm all for information disclosure, and I'm sure these questions have been addressed--I was just curious if any of you could help explain why people like my friend shouldn't panic for the death of personal privacy and the ensuing consequences when they see something like Fundrace.org's Neighbor Search?

On a side note, if Fundrace has taught me anything, it's to make all my political donations using my P.O. Box address from now on.
posted by senorbunch at 12:12 PM on March 21, 2004


* brain explodes *

(yes, I know it's a different guy. But still, why is John Edwards the only one to have given hard money to his own campaign?)
posted by PrinceValium at 12:21 PM on March 21, 2004


[this is good]
posted by lazaruslong at 12:23 PM on March 21, 2004


yes, I know it's a different guy. But still, why is John Edwards the only one to have given hard money to his own campaign?)

Wild ass guess:

If you aren't taking the matching funds you don't need the official donation?

Dean, Kerry, and Bush are decline matching, right? And the others knew they'd be losing, so why spend your own money?
posted by obfusciatrist at 12:31 PM on March 21, 2004


Anyone have any thoughts on the potential use of this tool, by people looking to harrass those with contrasting political views?

This info was always publicly available and has been online for ages - see the FEC and sites like open secrets. (Political reporters live for these documents.)

This is just a much easier interface. And the map stuff is tres neat.

My personal favorite Bush donor is Gay Love of Alanta.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:39 PM on March 21, 2004


Okay, who's going to cross-reference this with the pedo-finder discussed a few days ago?
posted by stonerose at 12:40 PM on March 21, 2004


[This is wrong, wrong, wrong] I have no business knowing who these people supported, and neither do you.

[Off topic, well, only slightly related anyway] Someone has got to help me think thru this: if it's OK for 2sheets and quansar to boycott a business for political reasons unrelated to how the business is run, is it OK for their employers to fire their asses because one boss or another doesn't like their politics, irrespective of how well they perform their jobs?]
posted by mojohand at 12:40 PM on March 21, 2004


Check this out:

The Kimmerles - 5 people at the same address donating $2,000 per person to George W. Bush. Do you think that Ashley, a "student", paid for her donation out of her own pocket?
posted by crawl at 12:41 PM on March 21, 2004


I'm noticing, in my ZIP code, a number of small companies where all of the employees who contributed, gave the maximum amount of money to one candidate. Since the employees don't appear to be related (they have different names, and are from different towns), I wonder if there's something fishy going on. I doubt that every instance of multiple-contributions is an attempt to get around legal maximums - for instance, there might be a very good fundraiser working there who got his co-workers energized - but I suspect at least some of them are.

That certainly seems like a valid, non-harassment use of this database.
posted by jkilg at 12:43 PM on March 21, 2004


Wanna know what your neigbors gave, and to whom?

No.
posted by homunculus at 1:03 PM on March 21, 2004


mojohand: Employer-employee relationships are regulated by laws. Conversely, nobody is forced (at least not by law) to patronize any particular business.

As far as boycotting a business as to how it is run: any business that puts its money into politicians makes politics its business. Boycotting a business for political reasons is totally valid.
posted by crazy finger at 1:09 PM on March 21, 2004


Someone has got to help me think thru this: if it's OK for 2sheets and quansar to boycott a business for political reasons unrelated to how the business is run, is it OK for their employers to fire their asses because one boss or another doesn't like their politics

oh yes! let's think through this together!
if it's ok for the farmer in the dell to take a wife, is it ok for the cow to jump over the moon?
posted by quonsar at 1:14 PM on March 21, 2004


Crazy, I was speaking of the ethical quandary (in my mind, at least.) Believe me, I'm very aware of the legal minefields that are HR issues these days.

Quansar, what's obvious to you isn't to me, really. To me both actions seem cut from the same clothe: using economic power to punish an actor for political reasons unrelated to how well they are performing their primary responsibilities.

I'm not trying to provoke you. Explain to me why to you these actions seem so unrelated. Can I assume your reasoning is rooted in the greater power of an employer as opposed to that of a consumer? To me this only a difference in degree. Would this mean that individually you can withdraw your custom but you couldn't ethically organize a boycott of a small business?
posted by mojohand at 1:38 PM on March 21, 2004


"George H.W. Bush, Retired"
posted by tregoweth at 1:48 PM on March 21, 2004


mojohand: If a local business gets involved in politics, they become a political player and should be treated as such. If there are two equally awesome ice cream stores in town and one supports pro-choice politics and the other pro-life, there's nothing wrong with boycotting the one that funds causes with which you disagree.

As to the employer/employee relations, if a business owner only employs people with whom he/she politically agrees, then that could become vote buying.
posted by crazy finger at 1:54 PM on March 21, 2004


Barbra Streisand donated $1000 to each of the major democrat candidates. Posting her address on the internet doesn't seem like a good idea though.
posted by gfrobe at 1:56 PM on March 21, 2004


That's not Barbara Streisand's real address.

To amplify crazy finger's point: Individuals are citizens, and they're supposed to get politically involved. It's not cool to penalize individuals for their political participation, because that undermines democracy. Businesses, on the other hand, are supposed to be involved in commerce, not politics, and so it's not so wrong to boycott businesses that attempt to influence the political process.

So is it okay to refuse to patronize self-employed independent contractors (like Janeane Garofalo) because of their political contributions? I'll hold my tongue; I want to hear what you all think first.
posted by skoosh at 2:18 PM on March 21, 2004


What interests me is that I live in a supposedly VERY democratic state (Illinois), and yet the contributions to the Bush campaign are not only more numerous, but much bigger in the places i've looked... very strange indeed...
posted by twiggy at 2:20 PM on March 21, 2004


mojohand, it means i hate bush etal and anybody who supports them. boiled down to the simplest terms: when you are all done thinking things through and debating the finest points of the deepest complexities of public disclosure of campaign finances, bushco will still own your ass. why not save your breath?
posted by quonsar at 2:25 PM on March 21, 2004


Streisand's address is that of Boulevard Management, so no biggie, although I wonder whether P. Diddy spelt "Entreperneur" by himself?
posted by John Shaft at 2:26 PM on March 21, 2004


gfrobe, couldn't you already get Barbra's address from things like the Maps of the Stars?
posted by deanc at 2:27 PM on March 21, 2004


"if it's OK for 2sheets and quansar to boycott a business for political reasons unrelated to how the business is run"

A little perspective, perhaps?
The business in question is a brewpub/restaurant, which I have considered checking out sometime when grabbing a bite to eat and a beer with friends. I've heard the food isn't great, but not that bad. However, my neighborhood is filled with plenty of restaurants and bars that didn't support any candidate. I'm not going to picket the place or flyer the neighborhood to start a boycott.
But I know that there are plenty of good places to eat that won't use a portion of my money, however small, to support people and policies that I am completely opposed to.
I don't know how that compares to firing a worker with an opposing viewpoint, but have at it.
posted by 2sheets at 2:42 PM on March 21, 2004


2sheets/mojohand: All of my employement in the U.S. was an "at-will" relationship where the boss could fire me for any reason, including my politics. Of course there are laws against race and gender discrimination, but in reality most bosses can fire you for being left-handed as easily as they can fire you for being left wing.

In states where this is not the case, it would be hard to say that one's politics affected one's job performance. Since the employment agreement is about job performance I don't think politics should be a factor. In a business relationship, there is no such agreement prior to a sale.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:03 PM on March 21, 2004


couldn't you already get Barbra's address from things like the Maps of the Stars?

Not only can you get her address, you can get high-res pics. (at least for now)

And, on reflection, it must be said that putting on ski-masks and kneecapping your
ideological opponents would be bad, even if they really deserve it.
posted by milovoo at 3:34 PM on March 21, 2004


i for one can attest their data is either a) incomplete or b)very out of date
posted by specialk420 at 5:16 PM on March 21, 2004


They state very clearly on their site that it only covers donations through December 31st.
posted by Ptrin at 6:08 PM on March 21, 2004


Actually, very clearly was a total exaggeration. They state in small, grey type that their data is no more recent than December 31st, 2003.
posted by Ptrin at 6:10 PM on March 21, 2004


Or try TRAY.com, which does the same thing, but with way more details and options.



Neato. (Try donor name lookups and zip code lookups.)
posted by superfem at 7:30 PM on March 21, 2004


What fascinates me the most is how few people I find listed, either on the FPP site or on TRAY.com. Maybe something to do with my choice in zipcodes, none that I used were from high-density areas.

Should the info be available? Very hard call! Open information helps assure us the rules are followed. But its easy to see how some might abuse the data.
posted by Goofyy at 1:03 AM on March 22, 2004


Should the info be available? Very hard call
Yeah but only if it's all available. Where the hell is my donation?

If the candidates were really smart they would turn this into a friendster/dating service fundraiser hybrid. Send a photo with your check and attract like-minded singles! Donors who give over $1000 get a free profile! Donate $2000 and we'll put you on the front page for a week!

I totally think I'm on to something here people.
posted by maggie at 5:32 AM on March 22, 2004


Isn't there a limit on how much you can give?
posted by VulcanMike at 6:06 AM on March 22, 2004


Not surprising, but there are lots of contributors in my neighborhood. I always knew that Tom Foley lived around the corner; now I know exactly where he lives. There are a few other names I recognize, but few surprises.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:18 AM on March 22, 2004


Isn't there a limit on how much you can give?

Yes! There are very specific limits to how much a person can give. But what you might not realize is that certain amounts are not reported. For instance, in congressional campaigns, when a campaign receives an individual donation of less than $200 in a year, it is not required to report information on this donor. For anyone who gives more than $200, campaigns are required to collect name, address, employer, etc. information on them. The cap for congressional contributions is at $1000 for the primary and $1000 for the general election. The rules are very specific...
If the candidates were really smart...

They are really smart! I once worked for a federal candidate in a finance office with one of my primary jobs being to scour tray.com and find probable donors. The information is definitely used...
posted by superfem at 11:06 AM on March 22, 2004


This is just a much easier interface. And the map stuff is tres neat.

I agree. 'Cept apparently Hawaii and Alaska aren't included. Grr.

The address search tells me I made a good decision when I didn't put that Howard Dean bumpersticker on my car. (Of course, the big van up the street still covered with anti-Clinton screeds was an earlier hint.)
posted by pzarquon at 11:31 AM on March 22, 2004


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