With election day right around the corner, I thought I’d pass along an interesting site I came across called Open Secrets. According to its website, Open Secrets is a nonpartisan guide to see money’s influence on U.S. elections and how it impacts public policy. Since most of us are paying for at least one mortgage association to represent us in Washington, wouldn’t it be nice to see how they’re spending our money?
Open Secrets allows you to search its database to look up lobbyists, senators, PACs, and a range of other things. To look up an organization like NRMLA or the Mortgage Bankers Association you would have to search under PACs. According to Wikipedia, a PAC is:
the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates. Legally, what constitutes a “PAC” for purposes of regulation is a matter of state and federal law. Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, an organization becomes a “political committee” by receiving contributions or making expenditures in excess of $1,000 for the purpose of influencing a federal election.
Using Open Secrets you can see the amount an organization is paying lobbyists. For example, below is a snapshot of how much the Mortgage Bankers Association spent over the last four years lobbying in Washington:If you want to look up what lobbyists NRMLA paid and how much click here. Below is a snapshot of what how much NRMLA spent lobbying over the past four years in Washington:Overall it’s a really interesting website that aims to bring some transparency to how money is being spent in politics. It’s definitely worth checking out.Open Secrets