LegiStorm was launched in 2006, originally as a searchable database of congressional staff salaries. It has since expanded to include a range of financial data about legislators and government employees. The site collects staff salaries, trips paid for by private institutions, financial disclosure forms, foreign gifts and earmarks for Congress members and key staff. It also indexes policy reports, congressional schedules, FEC press releases and political news. Much of the data are available elsewhere; for instance, the information on congressional earmarks is drawn from Taxpayers for Common Sense. Some, however, can be difficult to find.
The site is a project of Storming Media, which sells unclassified Pentagon reports. The LegiStorm resources are free but require registration.
In addition, LegiStorm offers some tools for analyzing information. For instance, staffer salary data can be organized by staffer but also by Congress member or committee, and earmarks can be organized by member or by appropriations bill. The trip and earmark sections include spreadsheets that can be reordered to rank members by costliness of trips, number of earmarks and so forth.
LegiStorm is a nonpartisan source. The information is presented without comment, and the affiliated blog is written in a journalistic style.
Comments: LegiStorm’s information is sometimes presented in a way that’s difficult to understand, and much of the data are available elsewhere. However, this is a good one-stop-shopping spot for publicly available financial information on lawmakers and their staffs, as well as other material on Congress. In particular, staff salaries can be difficult to find elsewhere online.
Political Leanings: None