Research Tools: “MapLight Unveils New Tool to Track Money in California Politics Ahead of Midterm Election”
MapLight unveiled a new resource today for tracking money in California politics ahead of next month’s election. The California Political Money Tracker provides a user-friendly layout that displays overall campaign contributions as well as independent expenditures supporting and opposing candidates for state office.
Californians looking for an easy way to see key information about the funding behind candidates can now review charts and tables for candidates from the present back to 2000 — including direct contributions as well as independent spending from outside groups supporting or opposing the candidate. Users can also find direct links to campaign filings on the state’s Cal-Access portal.
The data from the California Political Money Tracker is powered by the same information on display in the state’s existing Cal-Access portal, which was built 18 years ago and has taken criticism for being slow and difficult to navigate. The state is in the early stages of a years-long process to fully replace Cal-Access with a more modern and user-friendly system.
MapLight previously worked with the California Secretary of State to develop Power Search, a tool that lets the public quickly and easily search statewide campaign contributions and independent expenditures. More recently, MapLight developed the “Quick Guide to Props,” which provides brief summaries, top campaign contributions during the election cycle, funding totals, and condensed “pro” and “con” arguments for each measure on the statewide ballot.
The California Political Money Tracker’s development was funded with a grant from The James Irvine Foundation with the goal of improving political transparency in California.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.