Worried your donation to the Human Rights Campaign could be diluted thanks to your Target habit and the company’s support of anti-gay politicians?
The Sunlight Foundation has you covered with their new Checking Influence tool, which analyzes online bank account and credit card statements to show how your spending is being used to influence the political process. The tool allows users to determine if their spending habits are aligning with their political beliefs.
“We created this tool to help Americans be more informed consumers and citizens. Just as some people check to see if their coffee is free trade or if their clothing is manufactured in sweatshops, they can know if their purchases help fund lobbying campaigns,” Ellen Miller, co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, said in a statement.
The tool, says the Sunlight Foundation, does not store any information about bank transactions that could be personally identifiable.
Corporate spending in elections has spiked since the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. Target took heat from gay rights organizations due to their support of Republican Tom Emmer in Minnesota. The company said their support was purely for his stance on economic issues.
A test run of the tool only tied a percentage of the purchases in one bank statement to companies in the Sunlight Foundation database. The tool recognized line items from iTunes purchases and Starbucks charges but did not turn up any results for purchases at smaller businesses.