FollowTheMoney.org active 2 years, 8 months ago
Nonpartisan nonprofit org revealing influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states
Areas of Expertise: The National Institute on Money in State Politics is the nation’s most complete resource for information on money in state politics. From the 2000 elections forward, the Institute has created the only 50-state comprehensive database of political contributions reported by all legislative and statewide candidates, appellate and high court judicial candidates, 250 political party committees and 300+ ballot measure committees. Every two years, data acquisition specialists collect nearly 100,000 contribution reports and input the data into a (free) seamless uniform database at FollowTheMoney.org. To speed and facilitate investigation, researchers code donors to 400 business categories and publish research reports that document how political contributions correlate with election outcomes and policy decisions. The Institute creates its own tools for public use on its site. The tools use the Institute’s records to display data visualizations that analyze different aspects of state campaign finance.The Institute expanded program activities in 2011 to create a database of independent spending and analyze the impacts to state elections, following the U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v FEC. In a separate expansion to reveal special-interest influence, it is collecting lobbying expenditure reports filed in 2010 and from January to June 2011 for five key states. Under a 2007 expansion, the Institute’s Lobbyist Link identifies all state-registered lobbyists and clients in all 50 states. Institute research has also been cited in three U.S. Supreme Court decisions: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., and Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life.
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The Institute also tracks independent spending data in the states as well as lobbying expenditure data in 5 pilot states. We publish reports on the intersection of money and politics, which may be found at our website, FollowTheMoney.org/Research.