Thanks to the wonderful efforts of the DataMade team at Election Money who have made the Illinois State Board of Elections campaign finance data far more usable I have attempted my first crack at creating a (somewhat) current dashboard for the current cash position of each of the major party candidates for constitutional office. Please send me your feedback including any suggestions for new dashboards. My hope is to do the same for the State House and State Senate races and also look at some of the outside money PACs that file with the Illinois SBE. Here are some notes:
- Data Currency: My server automatically copies the files from Election Money every night at 1am. They update their contribution data daily (usually in the evenings) and their candidate listings, committee listings and report summaries are updated weekly. The A-1 totals listed here should be current to within about 24-36 hours.
- Data Depth: So far I have only been downloading the 2014 contribution data so if you try searching for A-1 totals prior to 2014 that data isn’t available yet. I’ll include the historical data once I know everything is working correctly.
- I hope to eventually be able to add the debt total (line 9) from the most recent Quarterly report but it is not available yet. When describing a campaign’s Cash on Hand you should be sure to take into account both their investment total and their debt.
- Remember that the Net Funds Available does not take into account any spending figures since the last quarterly reporting period. Committees are required to file A-1 reports in the interim that list their large contributions received but the only time any expenditure info is reported is on the quarterly reports. The Net Funds Available figure is the sum of the last quarterly report CoH, last quarterly report investment total, subsequent A-1 reports individual contributions and transfers in.
- The data shown here is only from the candidates’ principal campaign committee. Prior to the introduction of contribution limits in 2011 campaigns/candidates often had multiple committees but now they are limited to one committee per office. Outside PACs can spend funds in support or opposition for these candidates but they are not allowed to coordinate that spending or effort with the candidates or their committees.