Working with FEC Data  IRE12

  @A_L |

PAC Track

Where does the data come from?

FEC, FEC (via NYT)

How do I see it?

Know your form codes

F24 <- 24/48 Hour Notice of Independent Expenditure 
F3  <- Monthly Reports 
 |_ SA  <- Contributions
 |_ SB  <- Expenditures
 |_ SD  <- Debts and Obligations

How do I work with it?

(Note filing ID and date)

What is a .fec file?

Not too helpful. Let's get that into Excel.

Grab the ASCII28 character

Now, we'll do all that automatically with a little Ruby

If you have Ruby and RubyGems installed

gem install campaign_cash
gem install fech

CampaignCash grabs FEC data via the NYT Campaign Finance API

FEC data, cleaned and organized for you

Get an API key

API ->
Gem documentation ->
# Find the latest Restore Our Future expenditures
rof = IndependentExpenditure.committee("C00490045", 2012)

 @candidate_name="ROMNEY, MITT",
 @committee_name="RESTORE OUR FUTURE, INC.",
 @date=Thu, 10 May 2012,
 @date_received=Sat, 12 May 2012,
 @payee="Mentzer Media Services, Inc.",
 @purpose="Media Buy; also opposes Barack Obama",
# Find the latest Restore Our Future contributions
rof = IndividualContribution.committee("C00490045")

 @address_one="P.O. Box 8020",
 @city="Garden City",
 @occupation="Private Investor",

NYT Campaign Finance API at work: FEC Dashboard by @bycoffe  

Deal with filings programmatically with FECh

# Get all the contribution lines from a filing
filing =

Thank you. Questions?

Al Shaw    IRE 2012    @A_L