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Arizona Clean Money Campaign

Arizona and Massachusetts are the two states with state-wide campaign finance reform on the ballot this November. The Arizona Clean Money web site gives basic information on the proposed reforms, and tells how interested citizens can get involved immediately.

Cmpaign Finance Information Center

This site, a division of Investigative Reporters and Editors organization, was created largely by and for journalists. It offers a chronological database of both national and local stories on Campaign Finance going back to at least 1995. For a general audience looking for background information this is interesting and useful material. The site also features a "suggested reading" list which has some good background books and reports.

Congressional Quarterly

The respected publication Congressional Quarterly (CQ) sponsors this webpage brimming with all kinds of information on politics and money. Their "On the Job" feature, offers biographical profiles, recent floor speeches, and a list of bills recently filed by every member of Congress. By clicking on "Rate your Rep," you can learn how your Congressman or Senator voted on a wide array of issues. This site also offers links to the CQ homepage - for background articles on a range of political issues.

Democracy South

Democracy South is a nonpartisan, nonprofit regional network of state-based organizations in the Southeast. They aim to build coalitions supporting social, environmental and economic justice. One key component of that work is a focus on the core issue of campaign financing. This website offers analyses of campaign finance data in North Carolina - as it relates to environmental, health care, development and other issues. While this web site is primarily focused on North Carolina, it also offers links to activities in other states in the southern region.

Destination Democracy

This site, a project of the nonprofit Benton Foundation, is an excellent spot for groups looking to educate themselves on the basic issues involved in campaign finance reform. Unlike most other campaign finance sites - which tend to focus on either the data of campaign giving, or the disfunctions of the campaign finance system, this is a site devoted to promoting creative thinking about solutions. If you want to fully explore the various proposals for reform - from full public financing to eliminating all limits in exchange for immediate disclosure, this is a perfect spot for browsing. The site also includes an excellent glossary of basic terms. A very effective way to bring an individual or a group up to speed on the basics of the campaign finance reform debate.

Environmental Working Group

This is one of the very few sites where some work has been done to link patterns of political giving to votes. The EWG homepage offers a link to "Campaign Contributions & the Environment" - which in turn offers analyses of the impact of campaign money on various environmental issues that have come before Congress in recent years. Or, you can click on "Where you Live" to find out how much special interests gave to your particular elected representative or senator.

Another good site linking money and votes is Public Citizen's report on Tobacco money and its influence on Congress. Here's the direct link to their report.

FEC Web Site

This is not a website for beginners. The government's Federal Election Commission site does offer some good general overview essays on campaign finance law. In some more recent election years, it offers the ability to view online the actual paperwork filed by candidates and parties. But the best information available here is also the hardest to access. The FEC maintains detailed databases of all campaign giving. These are accessible under the heading "Financial Information About Candidates, Parties and Other Committees." In many cases, however, these databases are so huge they must be downloaded and imported into database management software before they can be searched. If you're serious about getting details on campaign finance contributions AND have a relatively high level of research sophistication, this site can answer all your questions. If you need more help, try FECInfo or, the Center for Responsive Politics.

FEC Info

Created by a former employee of the FEC, this site offers much of the same information filed with the FEC - in a far more user-friendly form. At this site, you can type in the name of any possible contributor for any election cycle since 1980. Then, see whose campaigns they supported! You can select any state and get a list of the 200 biggest soft money contributors in recent elections. And you can investigate spending by Political Action Committees (PACs).

League of Women Voters

LWV offers a fairly comprehensive set of links to state organizations which might be some people's preferred route into local action on changing campaign finance. The League has sponsored some interesting discussion sessions around the country in the past year or two on campaign finance reform. However, not much of this makes it on to their website.

Mass Voters for Clean Elections

Like Arizona, Massachusetts has a measure on the ballot this fall which would provide public financing for state-wide candidates for office who agree to voluntary spending limits. The campaign's web page offers current bulletins on the status of the campaign, a summary and the full text of the reform bill on the ballot, and a library of articles on the campaign. It also offers visitors the opportunity to sign up online to get involved in the fall campaign.

NE Citizen Action Resource Center

Under the heading "Money and Politics," this website offers current information on the status of campaign finance reform efforts in the northeastern states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont - and state-specific contact information for people who want to get involved.

Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote began in 1990 under the sponsorship of the music industry, to oppose censorship of the arts. But over the years its focus has shifted - to protecting free speech by encouraging young people to register, vote, and speak out on political issues. It's a youth-oriented, hip site working to reach out to young citizens/activists. Most noteworthy feature: it offers the chance to register to vote online!

Washington Post Campaign Finance Site

This is a remarkable resource for people wanting to do in-depth research on this issue. It offers an overview of key stories, background information on key players, summary articles on the House and Senate hearings, and clear, cogent background on current legislation such as the McCain-Feingold reform bill. In addition, this site offers visitors the ability to download the entire text of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee's report on its investigation into the campaign finance abuses of 1996.

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