Four Surefire Tips for Following the Money in Your State | Money & Politics, What Matters Today |

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

A “dark money” reporter explains how you can track the campaign cash — secret and not — flooding into 2014 races in your state.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

A resource worth keeping this handy this election year.


Mine your state’s campaign finance website.

Lost? Confused? Find a sherpa.

Shedding light on dark money.

Show me the file!

Mine your state’s campaign finance website.

All 50 states maintain a database of some kind detailing basic information about political campaigns — who donated, how much he or she gave, how campaigns raised and spent their money, and so on. If you want to know what individuals or PACs gave to a specific campaign, your state’s campaign finance website has got you covered.


Lost? Confused? Find a sherpa.

While there’s no directory of state-level public interest groups, contacting your state’s chapter of Common Cause, the national good-government group, is a smart place to start. They can also point you in the direction of the campaign finance experts in your state.

Shedding light on dark money. also maintains an impressive database of political nonprofit groups that can inform you about which secretive groups are running attack ads on your airwaves.

And last but not least, you can obtain tax filings in-person. By law, nonprofits are required to make available filings for the last three years if you show up at their office and ask for them. It’s your right — and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Show me the file!

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission decided to put a large swath of those advertising records on its website. You can search by TV station here. But for a more detailed database, I recommend using the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Ad Sleuth, which makes TV ad files searchable by date, media market and state.

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Author: Peaceful Patriot

Proud middle class husband, father, and progressive liberal. Registered Non-Partisan but have much more in common with Democrats than Republicans. Consider Libertarians to be immature and underdeveloped in their understanding of reality. An atheist who doesn't care what you believe so long as you stop pretending the Founding Fathers intended for you to legislatively force your beliefs on everyone else. Laughs out loud in mocking disdain at the abject lunacy of birthers, climate science deniers, and hard core tea partiers. If that offends you, too bad. You're not rational and have no place at the adult table.

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