By George Varney
Fredreka Schouten presented a campaign finance panel at the 2014 CAR Conference in Baltimore with fellow USA TODAY reporter Chris Schnaars and AP reporter Jack Gillum. The panel focused on different techniques for investigating political conventions and using online databases.
Schouten gets to conventions two days early, before security shows up, to scope out who is sitting where and what organizations have skyboxes.
Schouten also explained what the creation, or dissolution, of a super PAC can mean.
Politicians can get in major legal trouble for incorrect FEC filings. So while the data is vast, the stakes are high to keep it honest and comprehensive.