News nonprofits volunteer to keep Sunlight Foundation tools alive

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The Sunlight Foundation announced Tuesday that several nonprofits will maintain its tools for government transparency and continue to keep them open-source.

In September, the foundation, which advocates for accountable government through the use of civic technology, open data and policy analysis, announced that it would no longer support Sunlight Labs, its division for building open-source tools and products. It said it would seek organizations interested in adopting Labs projects, and it received responses from several news nonprofits.

ProPublica, whose interactive databases team does work similar to Sunlight Labs’, will adopt its federal legislative tools:

  • Politwoops, which tracks Tweets deleted by politicians.
  • CapitolWords, which lets users search politicians statements in the Congressional Record, and track ideas over time.
  • House Staff Directory, which includes information on congressional staffers available elsewhere only by expensive subscription.
  • House Expenditure Reports, a repository of office expenditures made by members of the House of Representatives.
  • Congress API, which provides data feeds programmers can use to create web and mobile applications to track the work of Congress.

The Marshall Project, which covers the U.S. criminal justice system, will adopt Hall of Justice, a searchable inventory of criminal justice datasets and research. And the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy, will adopt campaign finance tools Foreign Influence Explorer and Political Party Time, which chronicles fundraising events.

Journalists welcomed the news: