March 21, 2011 •
Best Practices for State Campaign Finance Disclosure, 2010
Last Friday when I was writing my Highlighted Site of the Week post about the Sunshine Week website, I added some links to places for further study. In my haste I showed the last link for the “Best Practices for State Campaign Finance Disclosure, 2010” as being a project of SunshineWeek.0rg. Well, this isn’t the case, and I knew better. It belongs to the site FollowTheMoney.org, a project of the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
I send a big thank you to the National Institute on Money in State Politics for emailing me, showing appreciation for our blog, and very kindly setting the record straight.
If you dig into FollowTheMoney.org, you will see what an important resource it is for government transparency. In addition to the Best Practices data, you will find the Legislative Committee Analysis Tool, Point of Interest interactive maps, and many other features and mashups. You can filter your search results to your own congressional district and even use an API to stream their data onto your own website. Their motto: Jump Into the Data!
The National Institute on Money in State Politics offers the public information on a scale we absolutely could not get for ourselves. Their site describes the feat better than I can:
“Every two years, Institute data acquisition specialists collect, input and upload more than 90,000 contribution reports filed by 15,500 statewide, legislative and judicial candidates, 250 political party committees and 500 ballot measure committees in the 50 states. Researchers standardize donor names and code over $2 billion in contributions to 400 business categories and other interests. Programmers create open access to the records and attract thousands of users to the information. Staff also introduce users to the tools and resources and work with dozens of reporters to answer questions and provide custom data sets for their investigation.”
Thanks again to everyone at the National Institute on Money in State Politics. I hope our readers take the opportunity to view their powerful website.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.