We all know politicians take money from companies and other interest groups, but it's sometimes hard to connect those contributions to what happens (or doesn't happen) in Congress. Now, thanks to a brilliant online tool called Poligraft, you can see the webs of influence behind the news.
Poligraft lets you paste in a URL to a news story or a chunk of text. Then it digs through the names in the text, finds politicians and organizations, and shows you who's given money to whom in a sidebar. The tool was developed by the Sunlight Labs, using information from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute for Money in State Politics.
Using Poligraft with a recent New York Times op-ed, for example, you can see that Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins both spoke out against a law that would prevent people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns, also took thousands of dollars from the NRA. Curious.