Tracker is published quarterly by the Campaign Finance Information Center,
your own database reveals the power behind the politics
Gulliver, The Virginian-Pilot
years, the Pilot had been compiling a campaign contributions database
for local candidates. The resulting stories were starting to look
stale. They had done the “big donors” story as well
as donations-by-zip-code. So, the paper decided to do something
different. This time, they want to track not only who gave to whom,
but what interest group they were affiliated with.... Read
finance reform update: If you're confused, you're not alone
By Derek Willis,
reporters are unsure about the effects of the new campaign finance
law, they have good reason to be: almost everybody else is, too.
That's because, though President Bush signed the McCain-Feingold bill
into law on March 27, the Federal Election Commission has the job
of writing the regulations that actually will become the tenets of
the law. And the going hasn't been easy, or even simple, to explain.
electronic filing site a boon for reporters
By Aron Pilhofer
Campaign Finance Information Center
The Federal Election Commission’s new electronic filing
Web site makes viewing, importing and analyzing data fast enough for
deadline reporting, and easy enough for anyone with basic CAR skills
and a spreadsheet.
The agency has been experimenting with electronic filing for years.
But the 2002 election cycle is the first in which it is mandatory
for political parties, PACs as well as candidates for president and
U.S. House. For journalists, this is a boon.
nonprofits flouting the law?
In the 2000 election, political nonprofits allowed interest groups
to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections without
any disclosre whatsoever. Congress passed a law two years ago designed
to reign in these groups, but has it worked?
states are moving to electronic data, but how good is it?
By MaryJo Sylwester
The Center for Public Integrity
good news is that getting campaign finance data for state political
party committees in an electronic format is becoming easier every
year. The bad news is that the majority of states haven’t jumped
on that bandwagon just yet.
Setting up an
automated FTP to download FEC data
Jose Mercury News
looking for an FTP client, power users often cast aside the lowly
command line client bundled with Microsoft’s Windows 32-bit
operating systems in favor of jazzier GUI clients. Beneath
the Win32 client’s drab exterior, though, is a program with
scripting capabilities to rival programs from the Unix side of the
Missouri School of Journalism, 138 Neff Annex, Columbia, MO 65211. 573-882-2042.