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Investigative Tools

Do you know of investigative tools that we should add to our list? Contact us to let us know.

The FOIA Letter Generator

This site helps you produce an Open Records request letter asking a state, local or federal government entity for the public records you want. It also has examples of  public records at the state and federal level. In addition, it provides direct links to your state’s open records law.


A locate and research toll essential for background checks. A small fee may be associated for in-depth searches.


A collection of non-profit related information ranging from the salaries of public figures to political contributions.

Open Secrets

This site has information on all of the money that flows through Congress, including earmarks, lobbying, the personal finances of members of Congress, and more.

Government Attic

This site provides access to thousands of documents that have been obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act.


LegiStorm is the place to go to find out congressional staff salaries, financial disclosures, trips, gifts and earmarks. They also have the most accurate and up-to-date contact information and the most detailed intelligence on Hill staffers available. Learn more in our profile of LegiStorm here.

National Center for State Courts

NCSC is the organization courts turn to for authoritative knowledge and information, because its efforts are directed by collaborative work with the Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, and other associations of judicial leaders.

Public Access to Court Electronic Records

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator via the Internet. PACER is provided by the federal Judiciary in keeping with its commitment to providing public access to court information via a centralized service.

C-SPAN Video Library

C-Span maintains a vast library of videos in the public domain, from politicians, think tanks, advocacy organizations, authors, and more. You can download and share their videos as well as download podcasts.


TRAC is an online database with comprehensive information about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities of the federal government.