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Our friends at Sunlight Labs have done it again! They just released a tool called PoliGraft. Paste the url of a news story or blog post into the tool (or better yet, install their handy bookmarklet in your browser’s tool bar!) and the tool analyzes the story, mines it for names, corporations etc and quickly spits out the interconnections between the people, organizations and relationships contributions associated with the story. The data mined by the tool is provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute for Money in State Politics.
For example, here’s a NY Times article about Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court and here’s the PoliGraft results including the original text and the report on aggregated contributions and points of influence of the many politicians named in the NYT story. A very cool tool indeed!