After you put in a name, the web site lists the total contributions and breakdown by industry. It presents the information in an overview format, so it won't break down the individual or company contributions but it's good for a quick glance. Contribution Explorer pulls data fromOpen Secrets, which has more details, but Contribution Explorer is much easier to read. If all you want is a general sense of how much money a politician has raised and from what sources, check out the link.
Open Secrets has far more details, but it takes some work to ferret all of them out.
|Senator John Thune's Page on Open Secrets|
|John Thune's Page on Contribution Explorer|
The next phase of the project will include the voting record of each member of Congress alongside their contribution history, and the industries that publicly support/oppose the legislation. Once I have this, I can then begin to determine the relationship between when contributions are coming in and when votes are occurring.
I should add that I got an error message several times as I tried to access Contribution Explorer to write this post. I'm guessing the Lifehacker traffic caused a bit of an overload that should die down in a few days.