Thanks to Debra…
Money and its corrupting influence is at the heart of complaints about politics in the United States, and every two years many candidates promise voters that they will try to reform a system that has lost its legitimacy.
Despite the promises, this doesn’t look like it’s happening any time soon. Thanks to a 17-year-old’s app, however, it has never been easier to find out exactly where a politician’s donations have come from – and work out how that money has influenced them, and what they are likely to stand up for in the future.
A wise person once said, “if we know who buys our NASCAR drivers, shouldn’t we know who buys our politicians?”
Helping to fill that void is 17-year-old Nick Rubin, who created a browser plugin (aka a web-based app) last year to help citizens find out exactly who’s funding our members of Congress, how much they made, and how that money influences the elections among other details.
From lobbyists to big corporations, politicians receive money from several different and often surprising sources, which in the end determines which issues they focus on, and which stances they end up taking. Healthcare, energy sources, funding for school and transportation, and tax laws are all in the hands of those who have the most money; the question is – who.
The plugin called Greenhouse works with Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers, and it can be downloaded at www.allaregreen.us.
After installation, when a politician’s name comes up in article text, the app will break down their top ten monetary influences. The plugin is free and simple to use, as noted in this article by Vice.com.
“Greenhouse allows people to see the money story behind the news story,” said Rubin to Vice.
The name Greenhouse was created by combining three symbolic ideas: the color of money, the two houses of Congress, and the transparency of a greenhouse.
In an interview with Vice, Rubin said he wanted to “put the data at people’s fingertips” for people to be able to make the most informed decision when it comes to politics.
Originally Rubin used all data from the 2012 election, which was the most complete at that time. Later it was updated with the most current information; one of the sources of data is OpenSecrets.org.