Thursday, January 5, 2012 - looking at dollars flowing thru political campaigns

With the presidential election on the far horizon, political campaigns will be front page news for the next several months, and a big part of the political news will focus on money: who is raising it, who is giving it, who is spending it, and what they are spending it on., produced by the Center for Responsive Politics, provides an easy way to look at the dollars flowing through the campaigns, using data from the Federal Election Commission. This comprehensive website covers presidential, house and senate campaign finance, offering detailed fundraising profiles for each candidate, with rankings of donating industries and major contributors. PAC money is accounted for, with data on “outside spending” supporting and opposing the candidate, and head-to-head comparisons of presidential candidates allow you to directly compare, for example, the key industries donating to Santorum with those supporting Obama. For representatives and senators, comparisons to congressional fund-raising averages are provided, along with a listing of bills sponsored and co-sponsored. offers extensive and well organized information on campaign finance. The data is easily readable, and illustrated by graphs. If you are wondering where all the money comes from, Open will open the books for you.

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