Tags : campaign contributions

Webinar to highlight new data set on campaign advertising

Got a big election on your horizon in 2016 or even 2015?

Join us for a free webinar Thursday and to get a sneak preview of an unprecedentedly detailed data set that the Internet Archive, the Sunlight Foundation and Philadelphia's Committee of Seventy compiled on political ads in Philadelphia this fall.

They’ll be releasing data linking ad spots to advertisers and the money behind them and showing you how it can be used to measure the intensity of a campaign, to identify the demographics being targeted by candidates and to out some of the mystery meat committees that ...

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Behind the Story: Tax forms and FEC filings reveal nonprofit's political activity

Learning about sources of political spending can be “like unpacking a Russian nesting doll,” says Michael Beckel, a politics reporter for the Center for Public Integrity.

Using tax filings as his primary source, Beckel investigated the third most politically-active nonprofit in 2012 as part of the Center for Public Integrity’s Consider the Source project.

 “In all, we examined records from the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Election Commission, Federal Communications Commission, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office and the California Secretary of State’s office,”  Beckel said. The tax documents contained information the FEC filings didn’t have ...

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Join a live discussion about Econocheck

NICAR adviser David Herzog will be on hand Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific) for a live Q&A about EconoCheck on the Journalism AcceleratorEconoCheck, an IRE-Sunlight Foundation resource launched during the 2012 campaign, helps reporters quickly find and understand data about key indicators. Drop by to discuss how journalists can continue to tap into it for post-election economic reporting and how we might improve it.

What do you think about the way EconoCheck presents tools and information? Please join us to share your experience and ask anything you want to know.

Data science, meet campaign finance

If you ever get the urge to feel a chill run down your spine, particularly if you're interested in political journalism, give Sasha Issenberg's new book The Victory Lab a good, close read.

Here's the headline: When it comes to using data to understand politics, journalists are playing checkers while political consultants are playing chess. Just listen to the debate that has surfaced in recent weeks around The New York Times' polling specialist, Nate Silver. The venerable Fourth Estate, whose job it is to hold the political system accountable, often lacks the skills to understand, let alone ...

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Previewing election day with data

How has data been used in advance of the election season? We've been looking for good data visualizations and data-driven reporting centered on the upcoming elections. Below is what we've found. Help add to our list by emailing suggestions to tony@ire.org or tweeting us @IRE_NICAR.

The Washington Post
The Post's 2012 election map shows what's still in play for the presidential, senate, house and governor races, along with a breakdown by income, race, urban vs. rural, marriage rigthts and swing states. 

The New York Times
The Times' Election 2012 package includes, among many other ...

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Follow the money with IRE's election coverage webinar

There are several ways that political funds can play a role in key states, especially during an election year. In IRE's 2012 election coverage webinar from Derek Willis of The New York Times, you’ll see how to trace money that comes from outside sources to state-based political groups, and how to follow the path of expenditures from the ground game to the air wars.

Click here to view the webinar.

Made possible through a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Tracking influence through campaign contributions, other data

By Chelsea Sheasley

What’s the best way to follow the money, especially in an election year? Joe Stephens, The Washington Post, Duff Wilson, Reuters, and Angie Moreschi, a former investigative reporter and now director of communications at James Hoyer Law Firm, shared the databases and documents that helped them in their latest investigations during their panel, Paying for Political Favor.

Stephens, who covered the Solyndra scandal, stressed that “these documents are ones that I’ve used over and over again,” in his career, from covering the environment and stimulus spending, to reporting on the presidential election, and state ...

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Campaign cash flow at the state level: Look at contributors, ballot measures

 By Beverly Magley and Anne Sherwood
National Institute on Money in State Politics

For your stories about 2012 state elections, check out free campaign-finance information at The National Institute on Money in State Politics (followthemoney.org), a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization. In addition to downloadable data sets, you can mine reports on trends and anomalies, as well as overviews that compare and contrast campaigns and elections in all 50 states.

Here are the trends and issues the Institute is watching this year and some resources that can help you report on them:

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National: Home in on top donors, bundlers, super PACs

By Viveca Novak
Center for Responsive Politics

The 2012 election promises to be the most expensive on record. One important way in which it differs from the 2008 contest: the presence of more outside groups, spending much more money, thanks to the Supreme Court's opinion in Citizens United v. FEC in 2010 and subsequent legal developments. It's now legal for these groups – ostensibly independent of any candidate – to accept, and spend, unlimited amounts of money from virtually any source, including corporations, unions and trade associations.

That makes it more important than ever for reporters to examine not just ...

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