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thumbnail photo Hot off the presses: Order now to get "Unstacking the Deck: A Reporter's Guide To Campaign Finance." Journalists will find it invaluable for pursuing stories about the impact of money on elections, political parties and candidates at the federal, state and local levels.

  • Campbell, Don, Inside the Beltway: A Guide to Washington Reporting, Iowa State University Press, 1991.

  • "Capital Eye-A Close-Up Look at Money in Politics." A free newsletter produced by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington D.C. 202-857-0044.

  • Center for National Independence in Politics (Project Vote Smart), The Reporter's Source Book.
    "Issue briefs" prepared the Public Agenda Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that researches public issues.

  • Center for National Independence in Politics (Project Vote Smart), U.S. Government: Owner's Manual.
    Information on campaign contributors. (Free. Call 1-800-622-SMART)

  • Center for Responsive Politics, PACs on PACs: The View from the Inside, Washington, D.C., 1988.
    This monograph reveals the views of 50 PAC directors and how they feel about working on the Hill.

  • Center for Responsive Politics, The Price of Admission: An Illustrated Atlas of Campaign Spending in the 1988 Elections, Washington D.C., 1988.
    This computer-generated book uses graphs, charts and maps to analyze campaign spending patterns in the 1988 congressional elections. National and state-by-state trends are examined, including PAC contribution, election totals and other vital money and politics and electoral statistics.

  • Center for Responsive Politics, Soft Money '88, Washington, D.C 1989.
    This monograph analyses soft money contributions in nine key battleground states during the 1988 presidential election. Examined are in-state vs out-of state-contributions, top givers in each state, etc.

  • Center for Responsive Politics, Spending in Congressional Elections: A Never-Ending Spiral, Washington, D.C., 1988.
    This monograph provides an analysis of spending patterns in congressional elections from 1974 through 1986, including 1986 soft money contributions in five states. Also analyzed are PAC contributions and independent expenditures.

  • Center for Responsive Politics, The Role of Politicians in Public Charities, Washington, D.C., 1987.
    This monograph examines the role and controversies surrounding public charities affiliated with federal politicians and those aspiring to federal office. Individual public charities are examined and attention is paid in this study to how well these organizations comply with IRS and other regulations.

  • Congressional Quarterly, Dollar Politics, Congressional Quarterly, Inc. Washington, D.C., 1982.
    This volume is a basic primer on campaign finance and reform. Dollar Politics contains basic information on every facet of the issue.

  • Council on Government Ethics Laws, Campaign Finance Ethics and Lobby Law, The Blue Book, Council of State Governments, Lexington, KY, 1988.
    This resource book contains data-packed table on state regulations on campaign finance, personal financial disclosure, conflicts of interest and lobby activity in the 50 states, D.C. the Canadian provinces and the U.S. and Canadian federal governments. This editions includes legislation and litigation updates on campaign finance, lobby law and ethics at both the state and federal levels on the U.S. and Canada.

  • Drew, Elizabeth, Whatever it Takes: The Real Struggle for Power in American, Penguin Books, 1997

  • Drew, Elizabeth, Money and Politics: The Road to Corruption, Macmillian, New York, 1983.
    A popularly written account of the rise and growing influence of PACs, this book was first published in The New Yorker.

  • Edsall, Thomas Bryne, The New Politics of Inequality, Norton, New York, 1984.
    This book examines the power centers in the Democratic and Republican parties, the growing influence of corporate lobbying, the declining influence of organized political parties and the importance of Big Money campaign contributions in the legislative and regulatory process.

  • The Federal Election Commission produces a wealth of guides and handouts on their data. The pamphlet "Your Guide to Research Public Records" summarizes what is available. Another helpful booklet, "Pacronyms," lists political action committee acronyms, initials and abbreviations. There also is a separate brochure on the FEC's on-line access program.

  • Federal Election Commission, Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C., July 1988.
    A guide to the laws and regulations that govern contribution limits, expenditures, fund raising, advertising, etc.

  • Federal Election Commission, Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C., September 1986.
    A guide to the laws and regulations involved in setting up separate segregated funds, usually referred to as a political action committees.

  • Federal Election Commission, Campaign Guide for Nonconnected Committees, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C.,1985.
    A guide to the laws and regulations that govern setting up a committee that makes expenditures separate from the candidate and his or her organization.

  • Federal Election Commission, Campaign Guide for Political Party Committees, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C., September 1989.
    A handbook to help state and local party committees comply with FEC laws and regulations.

  • Federal Election Commission, Federal Election Campaign Laws, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C., October 1988.
    This volume contains the Federal Election Campaign Act and related campaign finance laws.

  • Ferguson, Thomas Golden Rule: Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money Drive Political Systems, University of Chicago Press, 1995.

  • Fritz, Sara and Dwight Morris, Handbook of Campaign Spending: Money in the 1990 Congressional Races, Congressional Quarterly, Washington, D.C., 1992.

  • Gawiser, Sheldon R. and G. Evans Witt, A Journalist's Guide to Public Opinion Polls, Greenwood Publishing, Westport, CT, 1994.

  • Goldstein, Joshua, PACs in Profile: Spending Patters in the 1994 Elections, Center for Responsive Politics, Washington, D.C., 1995.

  • Jackson, Brooks, Honest Graft: Big Money and the American Political Process, Knopf, New York, 1988.
    This book, by The Wall Street Journal's former money and politics reporter, is a popularly written study of how the Democratic Party funds its congressional races. Jackson, a critic of today's campaign finance system, asserts that current campaign finance practices amount to legalized forms of graft and influence peddling, transferring power away from voters and into the hands of lobbyists, businesses and other monied interests.

  • Johnson, Carla B., Election Coverage: Blueprint for Broadcasters, Electronic Media Guides, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1991.

  • Killenbert, George M., Public Affairs Reporting, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1992.

  • Labunski, Richard, The Second Constitutional Convention: How the American People Can Take Back Their Government, Marley and Beck Press, 2000.

  • Lavrakas, Paul and Jack K. Holley, Eds. Polling and Presidential Election Coverage, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA, 1990.

  • Makinson, Larry, Follow the Money Handbook, Center for Responsive Politics, Washington, D.C., 1994.

  • Makinson, Larry, Open Secrets: The Price of Politics in Alaska, Rosebud Publishing, Anchorage, 1987.
    This study uses computers and public files to trace the identities and connections of campaign contributors in Alaska's 1984 and 1986 state elections.

  • Makinson, Larry, Center for Responsive Politics. Open Secrets: The Dollar Power of PACs in Congress, Congressional Quarterly Press, 1990.
    An encyclopedic guide to PAC contributions to members of Congress in the 1988 elections. Two page profiles of each member's PAC contributions, as well as profiles of committees and specific industries.

  • "Money and Politics in the Golden State -- Financing California's Local Elections"
    A report from the California Commission on Campaign Financing, an independent, non-partisan group. It's a 1989 report, but still good background on the variety of local ordinances and the issues. Call 310-470-6590.

  • Nelson, Candice J. and Magleby, David, The Money Chase, The Brookings Institute, Washington, 1990.
    A study of the issues involved in congressional campaign finance reform; it examines the complexity of the problem and proposes some solutions.

  • Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, Code of Federal Regulations (Federal Elections), U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., published annually.
    This volume contains all regulations issued by the Federal Election Commission, as of January 1, 1988.

  • Poynter Institute, Poynter Election Handbook: New Ways to Cover Campaigns, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, St. Petersburg, FL, 1995.

  • Reichley, James, Elections: American Style, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., 1988.
    Scholars who contributed papers to a conference examined the following reform issues: the presidential selection process, declining voter participation, problems of campaign in state as well as federal elections, the weakness (and importance) of political parties and media distortion of the election process.

  • Rosebloom, Eugene H., A History of Presidential Elections, Macmillan, New York, 1979.
    An overview of how presidential campaigning evolved up through the Carter administration, the book indicates how business interests have consistently used their wealth to influence elections throughout U.S. history.

  • Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 1998.

  • Stern, Philip M., The Best Congress Money Can Buy, Pantheon, New York, 1988.
    This book shows the way PAC money influences congressional legislation and traces the flow of dollars from specific PACs to specific members of Congress. Stern alleges that PAC money involves vested interests buying privileged access to Congress and, at times, congressional votes.

  • Stern Philip M,. How to Make Special Interest PAC Money an Issue in Your Campaign, Citizen Against PACs, Washington, D.C., 1988.
    A handbook for candidates and others who are interested in how to make campaign money, and particularly PAC contributions, an issue in a campaign. The book also contains a brief summary of sources on PAC data.

  • Zuckerman, Edward, Almanac of Federal PACs: 1998-99, Amward Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1998.
    A reference book that lists the sponsors and interest of every PAC that gave $5,000 or more in the last federal election.
    The current Almanac is $240 per copy, but a "professional courtesy discount" is given to reporters. (The discount is determined by newspapers circulation size as follows: 20% for newspapers over 200,000 circulation; 50% for newspapers under 100,000 circulation; 35% for newspapers between 100,000 and 200,000 circulation. For TV broadcasters the discount is based on market size: 20% for top 50 markets, 35% for markets between 50 and 200, and 50% for markets below 200.)