According to a post on, on May 7, the Senate passed an amendment to prevent consumers from buying prescription drugs from abroad. The pharmaceutical industry gave an average to $70,181 to each Senator voting yes on the amendment, more than 2.5 times as much as the average the industry gave to those who voted no. The industry-backed measure passed by a vote of 49 Yes to 40 No.

The Maplight Web site takes publicly available information and puts it in usable form so anyone can check up on their representatives' voting records on bills and compare it to contributions from interested parties.

Wayne Hanson  | 

Wayne E. Hanson served as a writer and editor with e.Republic from 1989 to 2013, having worked for several business units including Government Technology magazine, the Center for Digital Government, Governing, and Digital Communities. Hanson was a juror from 1999 to 2004 with the Stockholm Challenge and Global Junior Challenge competitions in information technology and education.