Put Your Money Where Your Munh Is

Want to know if a celebrity is playing both sides of the fence? Whether that new guy you’re seeing is actually a Republican or just dresses like one? If your boss maxed out at that fundraiser or got comped? Whether your neighbor’s political involvement stops at that hideous lawn sign?

Hell, yes!

FundRace gives you the technology to do what politicians and journalists have been doing for years: find out where the money’s coming from, see who it’s going to, and solve the mystery of why that crazy ex-roommate of yours is now the Ambassador to Turks and Caicos.

Using public records filed with the FEC of all contributions greater than $200, FundRace calculates the who, where, and how much of hard/soft cash going to political parties/candidates/PACs. I’m all agog at the technological marvels that produce such transparency.

Nosing around a bit, I came up with:

Jhumpa Lahiri, Writer, gave $250 to the DNC
Kalpen Modi, Actor, gave $1,395 to Barack Obama
Atul Gawande, Surgeon, gave $250 to John Kerry
Aziz Ansari, Producer/Actor, gave $1,150 to Barack Obama
Vikram Pandit, (current CEO at Citigroup, then COO at Morgan Stanley), gave $2,000 to George W. Bush

Searching by last name only generates results like this:
$407,448 was given by people who identified their last name as “Singh”
$98,952 from 63 people to Republicans
$308,496 from 185 people to Democrats

$330,376 was given by people who identified their last name as “Gupta”
$42,850 from 28 people to Republicans
$287,526 from 96 people to Democrats

Rather amusingly, $4,945 was given by people who identified their last name as “Jindal”
$0 to Republicans
$4,945 from 5 people to Democrats

In my entirely unscientific survey, all the desi names generated more Democratic donors than Republican. Interesting since I thought the balance, based on political punditry and SM commenters, would tilt towards the GOP. Also found loads of PAC contributors, especially to energy/engineering/science based PACs like the General Atomics Political Action Committee. Time to see how that moron in your lab got all that grant money!

You can find relatives, neighbours, friends, co-workers, celebrities…anyone who donated more than $200, really. The map pinpoints addresses with rather startling accuracy. You can also search by occupation:

$86,577 was given by people who identified their occupation as “Mathematician”
$13,740 from 18 people to Republicans
$72,837 from 98 people to Democrats

I searched for donations from Astronauts, but, sadly, got no results. Oh, Abhi

51 thoughts on “Put Your Money Where Your Munh Is

  1. I’ve used this site to check on co-workers or associates so that I know what topics to steer clear of. :-)

  2. I’m disappointed in Mr. Pandit giving to Dubya, but as rich as he is he can afford to be Repub. Not sure what the “Nascar dads” are thinking

  3. Interesting since I thought the balance, based on political punditry and SM commenters, would tilt towards the GOP

    hm. back in 2005 there was a post which reported how strongly democratic (on the order of 90%) brownz had become in the past few years. i thought that 90% was too high a number, but a good solid majority of brown americans are democrats i would bet. asian americans as a whole have been trending strongly democrat since 1992, the last time that “asian americans” voted more for the republican presidential candidate.

    2004 e poll, http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html, says 56% for kerry vs. 44% for bush for asian americans.

  4. Rather amusingly, $4,945 was given by people who identified their last name as “Jindal” $0 to Republicans $4,945 from 5 people to Democrats

    Awesome, they would be chumps if they backed G.O.P. (Good Ole Piyush)

  5. Interesting since I thought the balance, based on political punditry and SM commenters, would tilt towards the GOP.

    ????? Wow.

  6. Rather amusingly, $4,945 was given by people who identified their last name as “Jindal” $0 to Republicans $4,945 from 5 people to Democrats

    This has totally made my day:) Lovely.

  7. 5 · MD said

    Interesting since I thought the balance, based on political punditry and SM commenters, would tilt towards the GOP

    Just anecsdotally, when I first started attending SM, it had a distinct lefty feel (which is why i attended since i mostly read people with whom i disagree). But now, at least as far as the commentators go, it feels almost 50-50. things have changed.

    now i think stats show the first gen is mostly democratic, but not passionately so. my own scientific survey of older indian-americans resulted in a definite pro-hillary stance followed by a pro-mccain bias. actually, its clearly an anti-obama bias. probably the 2nd gen has moved a tad more toward the republicans compared to their parents week democratic bias.

  8. Just anecsdotally, when I first started attending SM, it had a distinct lefty feel (which is why i attended since i mostly read people with whom i disagree). But now, at least as far as the commentators go, it feels almost 50-50. things have changed.

    i think this is fair. though the postings topics will skew perceptions.

  9. Just anecsdotally, when I first started attending SM, it had a distinct lefty feel (which is why i attended since i mostly read people with whom i disagree). But now, at least as far as the commentators go, it feels almost 50-50. things have changed.

    going by MD’s handle de plume. I came up with the hypothesis that healthcare professionals who are more hardcore are going to lean red, while the one with the gentle touch will go blue. here’s the synopsis

    doctors, veterinarians, dermatologist : even split

    orthopedic surgeon, dentist, neurosurgeon : red

    pediatrician, gerontologist, nurse, gynecologist, psychiatrist, acupuncturist : blue

    no results for mathlete or vella.

  10. $114,857,965 was given by people who identified their occupation as “Attorney”.

    We rule!

  11. . I came up with the hypothesis that healthcare professionals who are more hardcore are going to lean red, while the one with the gentle touch will go blue. here’s the synopsis

    you were given the resources to test your hypothesis with this post.

    orthopods, 267,384 from 259 people to Republicans $87,232 from 80 people to Democrats shrinks, $50,327 from 60 people to Republicans $459,258 from 510 people to Democrats pediatrician, $85,329 from 89 people to Republicans $297,816 from 404 people to Democrats gyn, $2,300 from 1 person to Republicansv $5,661 from 8 people to Democrats dentist, $1,282,278 from 1,687 people to Republicans $801,961 from 933 people to Democrats neurosurg. $177,321 from 107 people to Republicans $70,226 from 51 people to Democrats gerontologist, $1,000 from 1 person to Republicans $14,301 from 15 people to Democrats dermatologist, $51,595 from 38 people to Republicans $54,018 from 47 people to Democrats nurse $289,321 from 308 people to Republicans $415,190 from 637 people to Democrats

    1) seems like you’re on to something 2) testing a hypothesis can be fun, can’t it?

  12. “physician,” $9,855,131 from 9,829 people to Republicans $12,710,054 from 13,047 people to Democrats. are people who would list their profession as “physician” as opposed to “doctor” more pretentious so more likely to be dem? ;-)

  13. contray to popular opinion:

    $5,636,282 was given by people who identified their occupation as “investment banker”. $2,787,248 from 1,205 people to Republicans $2,849,034 from 1,131 people to Democrats

    i predict “venture capitalist” will lean very demorctic.

  14. i predict “venture capitalist” will lean very demorctic.

    Do you mean lean venture capitalists lean democratic ?

  15. a ha, i was right, and i didn’t cheat:

    $1,719,955 was given by people who identified their occupation as “venture capitalist”. $592,709 from 185 people to Republicans $1,127,246 from 319 people to Democrats

    you see, obama got that facebook founder on staff, and that’s his secret weapon. he also visited the google campus early in his campaign and wowed them. add oprah, with her neo-randian pride, and what you have in obama is a bono-like, vinod khosla, micro-lending, social vc, reconstructed leftie along the lines of capitalist do-gooder. he’s also pro school vouchers (though he kept it hidden during the primary) and his anti-nafta stand is a ruse, meant to pander to the xenophobic vote…the democratic equivalent to the southern strategy.

    as the republicans try to paint him as an unreconstructed leftie, this will become clearer, i predict.

  16. manju, i had dinner with a bunch of hudge fund quants in the upper east side a month ago. there was a pro-obama sentiment when anyone spoke politics.

  17. well, in the new world order, one musn’t cross oprah, although steve looks like he’s taken things too far.

    Damn ! “iLean” … Job’s new look.

  18. $7,332 was given by people who identified their occupation as “geoscientist”. $2,350 from 4 people to Republicans $4,982 from 8 people to Democrats

    $516,978 was given by people who identified their occupation as “geologist”. $321,835 from 321 people to Republicans $195,143 from 294 people to Democrats

    $77,577 was given by people who identified their occupation as “geophysicist”. $41,068 from 42 people to Republicans $36,509 from 59 people to Democrats

    Wow, by no means is this data normalzied, but geologists have donated more to Republicans than geophysicists. Also there are very few who label themselves that wishy-washy (ok, cross-disciplinary and holistic) term that is “geoscientist.”

    Did the little applet’s brain explode when you put in “doctor?”

  19. 20 · razib said

    manju, i had dinner with a bunch of hudge fund quants in the upper east side a month ago. there was a pro-obama sentiment when anyone spoke politics.

    i guess the big issue with them is how to tax the (usuallly) 20% performace fee, as cap gains (15%) or regular income (35%). it would be a huge loss for fund managers (VC or hedge or private equity) if the tax code switches to income. they probably see obama as inevitable so they might as well have his ear.

  20. Wow, by no means is this data normalzied, but geologists have donated more to Republicans than geophysicists. Also there are very few who label themselves that wishy-washy (ok, cross-disciplinary and holistic) term that is “geoscientist.”

    i’m doing a survey of scientists. geologists are the most republican. i’m pretty sure this has to do with the oil industry employment…. (and private sector vs. academic & gov. concentrations).

  21. Oh, back on topic. Party affiliation is fluid for a good chunk of people in the middle and right now there is a Dem vibe going on. People are sick of the Republicans, plus, Republicans are so declasse. You know?

    Desis vote their demographic, and, as the ‘new jews’, fit the mold perfectly :) I’m thinking it’s gonna be a pretty steady 75:25 D:R for some time.

    *The scoop on righty websites is that the Republicans are gonna get beat ‘like a red headed stepchild’ in the fall. Excuse me while I, a tea-totaler, learn how to drink my sorrows away….kidding. Let ‘em lose. That’ll teach ‘em, plus, bonus points, the kiddies with the flipped out long hair (how can that horrible hair be back boys and girls?) will learn how it feels to live the 70s, baby…..My hope is that Senator Self-help (Yes We Can!) will morph into a relatively mod dem once he starts feeling some heat in office and finds out Washington is a rough town to play in.

  22. Desis vote their demographic, and, as the ‘new jews’, fit the mold perfectly :)

    Some desis might be afraid of ending up in GITMO with panties on their heads and solitary confinement while the right wing blogs uniformly cheer and ejaculate on their plight (not panties)

  23. Yes, I find the website extremely creepy. And, as one of us browns with a uniquely identifiable name, it means that anyone one who knows my name can find out way too much about me, including both my not insubstantial political contributions and my home address, which I do not give out nearly as freely as my name.

    There are folks who are worried about whether the sites might be a means of harassment (because you can discover people’s home addresses through them), and also, that they may inhibit vulnerable (I guess vulnerable people w/ money) from participating in the political process.

    But, hey, that doesn’t prevent me from doing the experiments!

  24. Yes, I find the website extremely creepy

    That’s the rub, isn’t it, the lack of privacy? The flip side to transparency? I found the level of detail rather alarming myself, and debated blogging about this (for a few minutes) until the extraordinary accessibility of it all won me over. The information is public, none of this is law-breaking or particularly sleazy. It just feels that way because the technology brings it straight to your desktop and you can use the info for your own amusement. That said, I’ve become really careful about how and where I reveal private information.

  25. People could look me up and figure out once and for all whether I support McCain, Obama, or Clinton, and could then criticize my posts as being biased based on such knowledge. Alas, I gave $199. Muhahahaha!!!

  26. I searched for donations from Astronauts, but, sadly, got no results. Oh, Abhi…

    There is a darn good reason for that! Astronauts (or potential astronauts) with professed political ambitions are dead-men walking. You got to keep that stuff on the down low if you ever hope to get selected. Then you can come out later.

  27. Perhaps there should be a per-search fee, that would tend to cut down on the “snooping for non-political reasons” (e.g., looking up the neighbors) while still leaving the info. available for serious anti-corruption/transparency purposes (e.g., investigative journalism).

  28. Alas, I gave $199. Muhahahaha!!!

    We’ll just wait until the next election cycle… or just one unthinking moment when you reach for you wallet and donate a buck…and you will be found out, Evil Abhi, we shall know the truth!

    I gave less than $200 too, but that’s cause I make as much as Rajni the Monkey.

  29. Alas, I gave $199.

    doesn’t matter, we know it’s hillary.

    but, i will give you props for one thing: unlike ennis who confuses non-disclosure with non-partisanship (sort of like saying a finance journo will not play favorites if he/she doesn’t tell you what positions they hold), your posts genuinely don’t have a tilt, except into huma.

    not that i care what positions bloggers hold or even espouse, as long as they write thought-provokingly about them.

  30. doesn’t matter, we know it’s hillary.

    Haha!! That’s what you think. Abhi’s fascination with space makes him a natural follower of only one candidate. Politics and SciFi/Fantasy will come together when the one ring will rule them. There, the truth has set you free. You’re welcome.

  31. How cool that this is being made so available. Note that this is the money given over time (since 2004). I’m a little uncomfortable with the addresses being shown though..

    I wonder why some of the donations for less than $200 are showing up too. See zip code 92867

  32. <

    blockquote>37 · coming out of the voting closet said

    doesn’t matter, we know it’s hillary. but, i will give you props for one thing: unlike ennis who confuses non-disclosure with non-partisanship (sort of like saying a finance journo will not play favorites if he/she doesn’t tell you what positions they hold), your posts genuinely don’t have a tilt, except into huma.

    Yes, I wish I’d tilt toward her more often but, with her name fading from the headlines, our time is up.

    Haha!! That’s what you think. Abhi’s fascination with space makes him a natural follower of only one candidate. Politics and SciFi/Fantasy will come together when the one ring will rule them. There, the truth has set you free. You’re welcome.

    I wonder what McCain thinks about that vs. Obama? Seems like a pretty clear choice on that issue.

  33. Excellent site! This is what transparency looks like.

    Its worth noting that scientists, philosophers, professors, teachers, lawyers, IT professionals, physicians, CEOs, CFOs etc trend Democrat while soldiers, security guards, farmers, stockbrokers, bankers, federal employees etc trend Republican.

  34. I actually think the transparency is not a bad thing, but perhaps the reporting threshhold is too low. I mean, is it a little creepy? Yes, but not really in the context of other public displays of information, and certainly not when you factor in the Google effect. Are there instances when someone knowing your political preferences could limit your access to speech? I think that could be compelling.

    There is no need to list people’s home addresses, though. A simple city (assuming pop is >X) would be sufficient.

  35. You are well-informed. You must be from Guelph.

    i have enjoyed my trips into guelph but not really. Are you from there? i will highly recommend their soap btw. seriously though, i find vets to be the finest people around – perhaps it comes with treating animals – the mix of plainspokenness and compassion is extremely endearing. i went to a uni that was renowned for its agri school, and i got to know some vets deeply. it was a very favorable impression.

  36. Wow Pagal etc – that was the smartest comment I have ever read on a blog site, ever. Apt blog comment name, btw.

    I still think it’s creepy and, actually, I don’t want to know how everyone around me votes. What’s transparent about knowing how your neighbor, who is not running for office and just living his or her own private little life, spends his or her own money? Look, we are moving into a post-privacy world thanks to technology, but, it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  37. 43 · Camille said

    I actually think the transparency is not a bad thing, but perhaps the reporting threshhold is too low. I mean, is it a little creepy? Yes, but not really in the context of other public displays of information, and certainly not when you factor in the Google effect. Are there instances when someone knowing your political preferences could limit your access to speech? I think that could be compelling. There is no need to list people’s home addresses, though. A simple city (assuming pop is >X) would be sufficient.

    Oh ya this is a creepy tool to aid in profiling a person. There are many cases that your employer or colleagues or the big brother wants to know your political preferences. The higher up you go in your workplace, especially if you work in govt agencies or govt. contractors you are a likley target of profiling. On a similar note there have appeared laws banning improper use of genetic information in health insurance and employment ; pretty soon I guess it should be applied to google/web information about you. In this computer crazed era this will also bring attention to work-place computer use.

  38. 47 · Meena said

    Details of the US election mostly don’t interest me, but wtf, Utrecht campaign?

    Right, I get it now, it redirects to the sponsors nearest to you I suppose…never mind