United States Federal Government – (1 of 5) Following government money

Federal Election Commission

Reporter Guide: http://www.fec.gov/press/press.shtml
Press Releases from the Federal Election Commission are posted on Branson Agent and can be accessed by email. In general, these documents are tedious and since we’re here to have a good time let’s dig into something a little juicier.

Raw Data: http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/ftp_download.shtml If you want comprehensive files for cross tabulation, think you’d play a good government watchdog or you just like filtering through Gigabytes of data for serendipitous findings – knock yourself out. As for me, I just like data – all of it.
In the past you’d have to filter through several hundred pages some schmuck in Washington D.C. would send on request.
Family Legacy:
http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml Exceeding Federal Election is as much an art as science. Donating to Political Action Committee’s is a good way to control the message the receiving indidual gives. Clearly, this is a way to control the candidate. Another is to get a politician or a political cause on the family “Christmas List.” Here’s how it’s done. You your wife, your three sons and their three wives donate to your person or issue. Easy as pie and eight times the slices you’re legally allowed to serve your future legislator .
To conduct a “family legacy ™” search – enter just the last name on the form.

Secondary Sources
: If you download the data you can create custom programs to filter queries. Many online applications use downloads and reconstruct Federal Election Commission Data. Here’s a couple:

Fundrace 2000: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/ One of the most interesting applications is the “neighborhood mafia™” search. Great for local searches.
Branson Contributions Via Fundrace: http://bransonagent.com/2007/10/branson-contributions-q1-q3-2007.html

Open Secrets: http://OpenSecrets.org Easy to use interface. Here’s an overview of Roy Blunt’s career fundraising efforts - http://bransonagent.com/2007/10/roy-blunt-federal-career-profile.html

We use Branson Agent to post original documents and can deduce the following developments in the local market.

If you have Excel, this will come in handy. For a great tool for storing, filtering, collaborating and sharing data we recommend Google Documents. We will demonstrate some of the features when we cover the state of Missouri.