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Uncovering the Spending Behind Political Ads (webinar)

Recorded webinar from October 9, 2012 and covers the basics on how to read a political file as well as uncover “dark money” political spending. You will also learn to manipulate the data in Political Ad Sleuth and look up ad buys and spending by individual committees influencing the election. Youtube Video

Political Ad Sleuth is a project dedicated to posting online the information available in the “political files” of all U.S. broadcast stations. This file includes a record of political advertising buys, and contains information about the advertiser’s name, cost of the buy and date range for the ads.

Until this year, these records have been kept on paper at the headquarters of TV stations (often their broadcast studios), rendering them inaccessible to all but the most tenacious members of the public. For the first time, the Federal Communications Commission is putting some of the files online. Sunlight, in partnership with Free Press, are recruiting volunteers to free the rest of the files.