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Campaign Coverage: From the Checkbook to the Ballot Box

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Open Secrets.org

It began as a book published by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CPR) in 1997 and has grown into a site with more than 200,000 Web pages. OpenSecrets.org provides information about campaign money raised and spent by candidates running for the White House, Congress, special-interest groups and lobbyists. Tabs at the top of the home page are organized so journalists can drill down from general to specific information. While CRP strives to provide most of its data for free, specialized data is available for a fee.

Key features:

  • White House: Covers the 2004 presidential race, Bush’s cabinet and advisors and their corporate connections, and profiles current ambassadors who have contributed to Republicans and Democrats.
  • Capitol Hill: Covers the 2004 congressional races, profiles current senators and representatives and congressional committees, identifies how much money national parties have raised and spent in 2004 and during past elections.
  • Special Interests: Profiles industries that donate to candidates, covers soft money, lobbying, political action committees and 527 organizations.
  • Donor Lookup under “Who Gives” tab: Matches donors to their recipients when a journalist fills out a simple query form.
  • Advocacy Groups under “Who Gets” tab: Profiles 501©(3), 501©(4) and 527 organizations that are major players in the 2004 election.
  • Get Local! Tab: Provides fund-raising information for state officials and members of its congressional delegation.
  • Money in Politics Alert: Traces recent political developments to donor activity. Available as an e-mail.

THE TOUR

OpenSecrets.org

The Campaign Desk from CJR

Follow The Money

Federal Election Commission

Internal Revenue Service

FEC Watch

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Funded by the John S. and
James L. Knight Foundation