How to buy a candidate (Sponsored by Rockefeller Brothers Fund)

  • Event: 2015 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Bill Allison of Foreign Policy; Edwin Bender of National Institute on Money in State Politics; Russ Choma of Mother Jones; Michael Beckel of Issue One
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 5 at 9:00am
  • Location: Franklin 1&2
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Michael Beckel, The Center for Public Integrity

More money than ever before is expected to pour into the 2016 election, from the White House on down the ballot. In a post-Citizens United world, donors have a plethora of options at their disposal to boost their preferred politicos — including the official campaign committees, the party committees, super PACs and “dark money” groups. Panelists will outline the key differences between each of these fundraising vehicles. They will also show off tools such as, and other useful websites that can help you see where all this money is coming from.


Speaker Bios

  • Bill Allison is senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, where he helps conceptualize projects, studies political influence in all its manifestations and writes about it on Sunlight's blog. Previously, he worked at the Center for Public Integrity, where he edited the bestselling book The Buying of the President 2004 and co-wrote, which Charles Lewis, The Cheating of America. He started his career at the Philadelphia Inquirer. @bill_allison
  • Since March 2017, Michael Beckel has worked as the research director at Issue One, a bipartisan advocacy organization in Washington, DC, focused on government accountability, ethics, and transparency issues. He previously worked as a reporter at both the Center for Public Integrity and Center for Responsive Politics. Beckel’s exploits have taken him inside the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times, including for the oral arguments in Citizens United. He tweets at @mjbeckel

  • A founding incorporator for the Institute, Ed has been the executive director for more than a decade. He promotes the use of the Institute's comprehensive, highly credentialed federal and state-level political spending data and analysis by investigative journalists, scholars examining state elections and public-policy processes, attorneys involved in campaign-finance litigation, and the public at large.

  • Russ is a reporter in the Washington bureau of Mother Jones covering money in politics and influence. He previously was a reporter for, the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. @russchoma

Related Tipsheets

  • How to Buy a Candidate
    This tipsheet explains how to track money in politics especially during election campaigns.