A 16-year-old programmer has developed a browser add-on that makes it very easy to track how money is influencing politics. As detailed by Ars Technica, programmer Nicholas Rubin has created a web browser add-on called "Greenhouse."
The add-on gathers campaign contribution data for every Senator and Representative, including the total amount of money received and a breakdown by industry and the size of donations. The add-on also combines this information with a parser that finds the names of Senators and Representatives in the current page and highlights them. When you hover your mouse over a highlighted name it displays their top campaign contributors.
Rubin says that, even though his add-on shows the powerful influence of money in politics, it has not made him cynical about politics.
"Actually, I think Greenhouse is making me hopeful. I've received such great feedback from people around the world... people want transparency like this, and Greenhouse may actually play a role in the solution."