NJ Fiscal Folly

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Campaign Contributions Disclosure

Today I discovered a pretty good web site that tracks federal campaign contributions data for US congressmen (and candidates). The site provides useful summaries rather than raw data, and includes interesting information on Sen Lautenberg, Sen Menendez, and all NJ representatives.

Since I was on a roll, I then looked for similar information for NJ legislators. The NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission is supposed to collect this data and provide it to the public. The NJELEC web site appears to be pretty well organized but it's a little tricky to use.

First of all, you have to download some specialized software in order to view certain documents. Most of the information is presented as raw data scattered over multiple reports rather than summarized in any kind of useful format. There's no way to tell if the data is reasonable or complete. The NJELEC should follow the example of the federal data web site above to make the NJ information more accessible. In general, the site is OK but could be better.

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