Sunday, March 09, 2008

Buying Of The President - Financial Information

More Americans are involved in the current election process. I wish it was more intellect than emotion but you gotta start somewhere.


I'm not being cynical. I understand that there is a great need for healing, for a change in national direction and communication across party lines. I don't want a president. I want the best person for the job to step in and honor the full complexity of the job as president.

I keep here a song lyric in my head. "First, I look at the purse." In this case who is funding and supporting the presidential candidates. There are many places to get that information. One of the sites to check out is The Buying of the President. At the site you can learn:
  • Who are the current candidates for president. It is not just Hillary, Barack and John,
  • Who are some of the big rollers who have contributed,
  • What do you get for (big) money contributions such as access, cabinet posts and other perks,
  • Interviews with other investigative journalist who are covering financial facts and fallacies of the campaign,
  • and my personal favorite, The Auction Block blog where you can see the movement between lobbyist, fundraising and other money movements of the candidates.
You can also visit the archive for a historical view of past campaign spending and influence buying by outside interest. In the multimedia section there are only two videos but there are audio and transcripts that go into more detail about how the campaigns create their image and how that image is sold.

Is The Site Perfect? No.

There needs to be more visual explanations or graphics on where the money flows into and out of the various political entities. I'd want a glossary of definitions as to what is a lobbyist, a PAC, and the various groups that raise money for candidates that are not of the official party machine but are direct pipelines.

It cost next to nothing to put up photos, audio and video; there should be much more of it and captioned with transcripts. If they are indeed networking with college and university students this is a no-brainer. Journalism and Political Science students are waiting for the call. They can help provide documentation and resources.

Perhaps that will occur when the conventions are over.

Who Is Responsible for this Site?

This is a creation of the Center for Public Integrity. Here is how they define themselves:
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.
In the coming weeks I'll post other sites that have campaign financial information resources.

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