Wagging the dog: Using campaign finance data to cover the midterm elections (Election/Politics Track)

  • Event: 2018 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Denise Roth Barber of National Institute on Money in State Politics; Christopher Schnaars of USA TODAY Network; Ken Schwencke of ProPublica
  • Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 9 at 9:00am
  • Location: Addison
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

The 2018 midterm elections are shaping up to be epic battles at the national and state levels. Learn how to search and analyze state and national campaign finance data, follow money trails and develop stories that go beyond the numbers.

Speaker Bios

  • Denise Roth Barber has served as managing director of NIMSP since 2010, after four years as research director and seven years as researcher. As managing director, she oversees the data acquisition, research and communications departments, and oversees the writing of grant proposals and narratives. Prior, Denise was a community organizer with the Northern Plains Resource Council in eastern/central Montana, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, Africa.

  • Christopher Schnaars is a database editor with the USA TODAY Network, where he dabbles with campaign finance data, assists other reporters with data analysis and occasionally writes semi-functional Python code. @chrisschnaars

  • Ken Schwencke is the editor of ProPublica's news applications team, which creates interactive databases and graphics. Ken has been with ProPublica since 2016, where he has worked on the award-winning Electionland project, ran Nonprofit Explorer, and reported on LGBTQ issues and white supremacists. Previously, he worked on The New York Times’ interactive news team and the Los Angeles Times data desk. @schwanksta

Related Tipsheets

  • Campaign Finance: News Tips
    Denise Roth Barber, managing director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics, fills this tipsheet with links on how to find state and national campaign finance data, follow money trails and develop stories that go beyond the numbers. This record also includes the PowerPoint presentation for this panel.