Washington's Other Scandal | frontline online
navigation, see below FAQs for Citizens

I've given up on Washington doing anything!  What can be done at the state level to change the system?

Already, Maine and Vermont have voted to create Clean Money systems for their elections. And last November voters in Arizona, Massachusetts and New York City (212/964-3534, xt 24) could vote for public financing of their elections in exchange for candidates' voluntary acceptance of spending limits.

How can I find out how my congressman voted on campaign finance reform?

Click on the database created by Common Cause. Don't worry if you don't know your representative's name...just enter your zip code and find out who they are.

NOTE: The Common Cause site tends to have only the most recent vote taken. If you want more history on how your congressmen have voted, visit the detailed records of campaign finance votes available at Congressional Quarterly's site or, visit Project Vote Smart's site.

How did my elected representatives vote on other issues I care about?

The Congressional Quarterly's web site and the Project Vote Smart site (see above) are the places to go for voting records on a host of issues.

Who's funding my congressmen's campaigns?

At the federal level, the best place to find this information is the Center for Responsive Politics - where you can search databases of individual donors, PACs and industries - or simply ask for a campaign money profile of a Congressman or Senator.

At the state level, visit The National Institute for Money and Politics - which maintains searchable databases of campaign contributions for statewide races in a growing number of states.

How can I get involved in campaign reform?  What's going on in my state?

A number of national organizations are active at the state level in promoting campaign finance reform. For more information visit:

  • Common Cause - promotes campaign finance reform through national legislation. There's a special section on their site with information on state activities.

  • League of Women Voters is another national organization with active chapters in most states. Their site leads you to the state information.

  • Public Campaign - hopes to create momentum for national change by passing reform measures at the state level. The Public Campaign reform model involves public financing of campaigns in exchange for candidates' voluntary agreement to accept spending limits and to reject virtually all private money. To learn about Public Campaign activities in your state, click here...

  • How can I register to vote?

    Click here to register online.

    home . checking out the candidates . the money machine . advocacy ads . interviews
    discussion . readings . faqs . synopsis . press reaction . tapes & transcripts
    frontline online . pbs online

    web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation