As you well know, there are a number of candidates running for office this year with the presidential and other national races generating the most attention. Every few days there are stories or reports about candidates including campaign financing and spending.
The Seattle Times ran an article on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, entitled, “Ron Paul done spending on primaries,” by Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times. The article stated that Ron Paul had announced that he would stop spending money on the Republican party’s 11 remaining primaries, effectively ending his campaign. One day later, on Wednesday, May 16th, Ron Paul’s campaign officials clarified that he was not actually suspending his bid for president. There are many issues related to election campaigns especially campaign financing and spending.
If you’d like to conduct some online research about campaign financing including how much the presidential candidates have raised for their campaigns and how much they’ve spent, you can access that information through “The Center for Responsive Politics Open Secrets.org.” This website provides a number of categories related to the presidential election such as fundraising, President Donor lookup, Outside Spending, and more. The same type of information is available on the website for the members of Congress.
For state and local elections, you can access campaign finance reports through each of the State Election offices. Here is information about a few of the searchable State sites available. In Montana, you can search for “Candidate Financial and Contribution Reports” by name. Using Nebraska’s Accountability & Disclosure Commission website, you can search for committees, candidates or contributors by name to view financial statements filed with the State. New Hampshire’s Campaign Finance System provides searches by type of candidate, filing year, or candidate name including a link to view individual contributors.
The Board of Elections for New York offers links to a number of queries such as a list of all active local filers by County, candidates registered during a certain time frame, and other search options. Washington State Public Disclosure Commission’s website provides a database search of candidates, political committees, independent spending, and more including a view of actual reports. The District of Columbia also offers images of campaign finance reports.
To access campaign finance reports for your state including any available county websites, click on your state and then scroll to your specific county using our “Voter Records and Elections Information” page. This page also provides links to voter registration, election results, polling locations, and other election information. Land records, laws and codes, unclaimed property, and other types of public information are available on our “Free Public Records Search Directory.”
Hopefully, the public information regarding candidates and their campaign finances will help you to make an informed decision about your favorite candidates and the upcoming elections.