An app that uses Instagram to find lobbyists.
This week, Justin Elliott wrote about new House Financial Services Committee chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) attending a weekend getaway with banking industry officials.
One of the ways he found out who was at the getaway was by using the Instagram photo sharing service, which turned up a snowy snapshot taken by Len Wolfson, a lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association (which had contributed to Hensarling’s PAC). Wolfson has since set his account to private.
The Instagram site has no search function, so finding shots like this can take a lot of digging. However, Instagram has an API with a “Media Search” endpoint that returns data both by timeframe and distance from a certain latitude and longitude — a perfect way to see who’s at a certain place at a certain time.
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“The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create fake derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks. No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors. When I saw this list and especially the last agenda item the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be