Searching campaign contributions for local US elections
September 22, 2017 10:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm researching the donations a particular campaign donor has made in local races across the United States that concern the criminal justice system (e.g., elections for district attorneys and judges). plus the Federal Election Commission plus give me fairly complete campaign finance data at the federal level, but only partial data at the state, county, and city levels. Where else should I be looking?
posted by brainwane to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Washington State has the Public Disclosure Commission, but Washington State also has very tight campaign finance laws. I think your ability to find this information will largely depend on how much a particular state regulates campaign finance.

I would start by looking up campaign finance and state agency for each state or look at Secretary of State offices.
posted by brookeb at 11:11 AM on September 22, 2017

Generally speaking, campaign finance for state and local campaigns falls under state control (usually to an office under the Secretary of State) and the handful of states that I've happened to look at all have online portals for accessing this information. So the information should be out there (though it may be less complete or easy to use than one might like).
posted by firechicago at 11:21 AM on September 22, 2017

The Campaign Finance Institute has links to campaign finance data sources here
posted by Glomar response at 11:50 AM on September 22, 2017

What state? Or all states? Each state should have its own campaign finance disclosure system. Some are awful and some are great. If you google the state name and something like "campaign finance search" or "political contributions search" or whatever, you should be able to find it. I've never run into a state without one, but you could always submit an open records request and request the information in an electronic spreadsheet format so you are able to search and sort it.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:36 PM on September 22, 2017

I would like to check out this person's contributions across all fifty states, the territories, and all 3,000+ counties. It sounds like there's no all-in-one aggregator search engine and I'll have to check at least with each state, possibly with individual counties or municipalities in states that don't follow the pattern that firechicago mentioned.
posted by brainwane at 7:27 PM on September 22, 2017

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