The free workshop, “Follow the Money – Tracking Companies’ Influence on Politics,” was originally held at the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference on Feb. 22, 2012. It was hosted by IRE, the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, the Illinois Press Association and the Missouri Press Association.
Please note: We’ve added resources that were provided at a similar workshop at the IRE Conference in Boston, June 2012.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
- How to find campaign contributions by companies at the state and federal level.
- How to find lobbying expenditures by companies at the state and federal level.
- How to tie company spending on candidates or lobbying to legislative or regulatory actions.
- How to find corporate contributions to independent groups.
Bill Allison is the editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation. A veteran investigative journalist and editor for nonprofit media, Allison worked for the Center for Public Integrity for nine years, where he co-authored “The Cheating of America,” was senior editor of “The Buying of the President 2000″ and co-editor of the New York Times bestseller “The Buying of the President 2004.”
Ron Nixon is a domestic correspondent in the Washington Bureau of The New York Times, where he has worked since 2005. He is the former computer-assisted reporting editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a former training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Take a look through the workshop session recordings and resources below. At your own pace, you can walk through the self-guided lesson on strategies for tracking companies’ influence on politics.
- An Overview of Companies and Politics — Bill Allison
- Companies and Politics: A Case Study — Ron Nixon
- Closing the Loop: Corporate Contributions — Nixon
- The New Soft Money and Rise of Super PACs — Allison, Nixon
- Campaign Finance: An Overview of Companies and Politics — Allison
- Companies and Politics: A Case Study — Nixon
- Integrating Other Data — Allison
- The New Soft Money — Allison
- Campaign Finance and Political Influence — Allison (Boston)
- The New Soft Money — Allison (Boston)
- Access and Influence — Nixon (Boston)
- Follow the Money — Tracking Companies Influence on Politics (PDF) by Bill Allison and Ron Nixon
- Companies with Permission to Bypass Sanctions 2010 (NYT)
- Companies with Permission to Bypass Sanctions 2011 (blog)
Check out other self-guided training modules about computer-assisted reporting and corporate investigations.
- CAR for Business Journalists
- Cracking Private Companies
- Investigating Private Companies and Nonprofits
- From IRE: How Campaign Money Is Spent in Your State