Another reason to love the internet: finding out if you neighbour has donated money to a presidential candidate, and how much -or- On the origins of family feuds.

The Huffington Post has created an interactive database of every donation made to the 2008 US presidential candidates that you can peruse at your own leisure. For example, here’s Berkeley, California:

If funding is taken as any indication for support, it isn’t surprising to see a largely blue screen (and the 30 fold more funding for the Democrats), given Berkeley is renown for its anti-war political activism in the 1960s and the overall hippie-tude of it’s student body.

However, it isn’t all blue. I think the Huffington puts it best with:

Want to know if a celebrity is playing both sides of the fence? Whether that new guy you’re seeing is actually a Republican or just dresses like one? If your boss maxed out at that fundraiser or got comped? Whether your neighbor’s political involvement stops at that hideous lawn sign?

FundRace makes it easy to search by name or address to see which presidential candidates your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors are contributing to. Or you can see if your favorite celebrity is putting their money where their mouth is.

FundRace gives you the technology to do what politicians and journalists have been doing for years: find out where the money’s coming from, see who it’s going to, and solve the mystery of why that crazy ex-roommate of yours is now the Ambassador to Turks and Caicos.

..if by best you mean a gaudy attempt at wooing users into interacting with their software. I think the Huff’ is focusing on the wrong thing here: what about friends and family? arch enemies? priests, pastors, and rabbis? This tool reaches far beyond celebrity nonsense and that guy/girl you think is a “cutie” and wanna get “withie”.

This sort of tool could, and I think very likely will, change the way US voters think about those people closest to them (given the partisanship of the US political system and voters).

What do you think – would you want to know if your friends donated $1000 to Stephen Harper, or Jack Layton, or the Marijuana Party? Would you think any different of your significant others if they were secretly funneling your vacation slush fund to funding the Rhinoceros’ party goals of repealing the law of gravity?

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: