Understanding Alabama Campaign Finance Data
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README.md

README.md

Stories in Ready

Open-Disclosure

The goal of the Open Disclosure project is to provide an easy to use web interface for Alabama's publicly available campaign finance data. This will empower citizens to better understand the flow of money in their political system, and consequently allow them to hold their representatives more accountable.

Open Disclosure Alabama is a unique campaign finance tool. While one of it's aims is to make state data more digestable, its not intended to simply regurgitate the state data of where politicians get their money. Open Disclosure Alabama is undertaking unique challenges in campaign finance contributions. This is being accomplished in two primary ways: by adding dark money to candidates collected from Open Secrets, and by creating correlations between PAC contributions and voting records collected from Sunlight Foundation.

The tool is ultimately designed to make it easier to find candidates of interest for those interested in investigating. Its not intended to
blow whistles or expose direct corruption. It merely hints at what candidates are likely to be getting their money from sketchy sources, or consistently voting along party or PAC lines. It creates correlations, not causations.

The project is modeled to expand on the Open Oakland project (Code found here). The Alabama version is intended to be immediately redeployable in other states. Additionally, it is designed with fuzzy campaign finance laws and practices in mind.

Data

The source data can be found here: http://fcpa.alabamavotes.gov/PublicSite/DataDownload.aspx

Frontend

The frontend is located on the gh-pages branch so that it's hosted as a GitHub Pages site here.

More Info

See the wiki for this repository and utils/README.md for more information.