Scott Swafford, Mining online campaign finance records
How to bring meaning to the money
game surrounding local elections
• Like it or not, people are curious about the money
that drives campaigns for local office.
• Covering the horse-race in small doses can help
propel interest in an election, as long as we don’t
• Give people the raw data in a digestible format,
and they’ll spend plenty of time poring over it.
• Work hard to provide the context that gives the
numbers meaning. Who’s giving money to whom?
How much? And why?
Who must file
• In Missouri, anyone who is seeking public office,
and who intends to raise or spend more than
$500 for or on their campaign.
• Even those who plan to keep their fund-raising
and spending below those limits must file
statements of limited activity.
• Any committee that organizes and spends
money promoting or opposing a state or local
ballot issue or a particular candidate.
Where must they file
• Candidates for federal office file with the Federal
• Candidates for state office file with the Missouri
• Candidates for city and county offices in
cities/counties with populations of more than
100,000 file with both the local county clerk or
election board and with the Missouri Ethics
• Candidates for city and county offices in smaller
cities/counties file with their local election authority.
When must they file?
• As soon as they form a committee.
For April election in Missouri
• Committee deadline is March 9.
• Personal finance disclosures due by Feb. 14.
• 40 days before the election, or Feb. 27.
• 8 days before the election, or March 31.
• 30 days after the scheduled election, or May 9.
• Columbia Missourian, 2013 City Council races
• Columbia Missourian, 2008 state representative races
• Columbia Tribune, post 2013 City Council races
• Columbia Missourian, 2012 general election
Where to go
in other states
• Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board
• Illinois State Board of Elections, Division
of Campaign Disclosure
• Kansas Ethics Commission/Kansas Secretary
• South Carolina State Ethics Commission,
Public Accountability and Reporting System