Though he isn’t even legal to vote, 16 year old Nicholas Rubin already understands the vital role politics plays in America. Not only does he understand it’s importance, however, Nicholas understands that how/where these politicians get their money (for campaigning) is just as imperative. As a result, Nicholas created the innovative plugin called Greenhouse. The plugin is available for download for Firefox, Chrome, & Safari. Let’s see how long it takes for politicians to start complaining about this technology. Congratulations to Mr. Rubin, this could very well change politics in America forever.
–“After installing the plugin on Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, Greenhouse will highlight the names of any members of Congress no matter what webpage you’re on. When you hover your mouse of the highlighted name, a list pops up showing the elected official, their political affiliation and state, and a full list of their biggest contributors, as well as dollar amounts. The pop-up also shows what percentage of the official’s donations were $200 or less, and which campaign finance measures they supported.
The data Greenhouse uses is pulled from OpenSecrets.org, and includes dollar figures from each politician’s most recent election cycle. There is, of course, the possibility that the lobbies that funded a congressperson’s last election aren’t necessarily the same ones currently contributing, but the chances are pretty good.
Greenhouse is an invaluable tool for deciphering the motivations behind the actions of Congress, and poking around on a political website is particularly eye-opening if you happen to have the plugin enabled. For example, I brought up an article on the recent failed bipartisan energy efficiency billthat was shot down via filibuster, with Senator John Cornyn playing a major role in its defeat. A quick mouse hover over Cornyn’s name revealed the likely cause: a campaign contribution of over $1 million from the oil and gas lobbies. What a coincidence!”