Great source for data and analysis on campaign finance at the federal level. Covers contributions to candidates and PACs; campaign spending by outside groups; lobbying and interest groups; personal finances of politicians and the revolving door of politicians to lobbyists; political ad buys; and more. From the Center for Responsive Politics. 1998+ Bulk data freely available for non-commercial use.
Data and reports on money and spending in state-level politics. Covers campaign finance donations, spending by outside groups, and spending on ballot measures for all 50 states. You can view national or state overviews of spending; get breakdowns by district, candidate, party, industry, incumbency status, and more. The National Institute on Money in State Politics cleans, verified, and standardizes the data. Data can be exported in CSV, XML, or JSON. 1988+
Campaign finance project by Adam Bonica at Stanford as part of a project to ideologically map political elites, interest groups, and donors in the "political marketplace". "The resulting database contains over 130 million political contributions made by individuals and organizations to local, state, and federal elections spanning a period from 1979 to 2014. A corresponding database of candidates and committees provides additional information on state and federal elections." Data has been extensively cleaned, standardized, and geocoded.
Provides data and reports for analyzing the flow of money through the U.S. political system. Provides campaign donation data dating to the 1979-80 election cycle and lobbying data from 1999. Track contributions from individual donors, associations, corporations, lobbyists, PACs, 527s and other sources, as well as candidate disbursement details.
Details the official spending done by the House of Representatives, including lawmakers’ offices, committee offices, and administrative offices, using the official House Statement of Disbursements (see below). One file contains summary information for each office and category of spending, and the other file contains details of each recipient of office spending and its purpose. Note that the data has not been standardized (meaning that "AT&T" might also appear as "A.T.&T."). Quarterly files from 2009-present in .csv. A single file containing 2009-2018 is also available.
Quarterly report on expenditures by the House, including salaries of staffers and expenses by committees and Members' offices. Digitized by Boston Public Library and the Internet Archive. Since 2009, the House has published disbursements online in .csv format (see the ProPublica link above for cleaned, Excel versions of the 2009+ data).
These can also be found in ProQuest Congressional: Search in House/Senate Documents/Reports and Miscellaneous Publications: [TITLE] "Statement of Disbursements of the House" OR "House of Representatives Detailed Statement of Disbursements" OR [ALL EXCEPT FULL TEXT] ("report of the clerk of the house" OR "annual report of clerk of house" OR "Contingent expenses of House of Representatives") AND (employees OR employes)
"Financial Disclosure Reports include information about the source, type, amount, or value of the incomes of Members, officers, certain employees of the U.S. House of Representatives and related offices, and candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives." 2007–present.
Semi-annual report detailing expenditures by the Senate, including salaries of officers and employees and spending by committees and Members' offices. (Search on "Report of the Secretary of the Senate" in title for Documents/Reports and Misc Publications)
Financial disclosures by Senators and candidates since January 1, 2012. Senator reports are available until six years after the individual ceases to be a Member. Candidate reports are available for one year after the individual is no longer a candidate.
Click on Gift/Rule Travel tab. Option to search or download entire database. Senate rules state that "the information must be maintained for a period not longer than four years after receiving the information."
Information on Congressional salaries, trips, financial disclosures, foreign gifts, earmarks, and more. Salary data on members and staffers from 2000-present; data on privately financed trips from 2000-present; financial disclosures from 2001-present; foreign gifts from 1999-present; earmarks for fiscal years 2008-2010. Limited personal access with free registration.
Historical data on congressional and presidential election fundraising, expenditures, and party, interest group, and PAC spending. Tables and figures are in PDF and cover 1974-present. Many of these tables are available in Excel (with a slight time lag) from the Vital Statistics on Congress (see chapter 3 on Campaign Finance in Congressional Elections). CFI also produces also other reports as well as a useful Money in Politics Bibliography covering academic literature back to 2006.
The Campaign Finance Institute has compiled a database of state campaign finance laws covering every state, 1996-2018. There's a visualization tool allowing for easy comparison across key variables and the full database can be downloaded to access more than 500 variables per state-year.
The National Conference of State Legislatures compiles information on laws and regulations governing campaign finance in all 50 states. It has separate sections on contribution limits, independent expenditures, disclosure requirements, and public financing of elections. Mostly current with some coverage of previous years. Its database of campaign finance legislation goes back to 1999 and is searchable by year, state, type of legislation and status.
Parses Congressional lobbying disclosure reports to provide better coding of lobbying data linking them to congressional bills and their sponsors, industry and issue areas, and company identifiers. Provides bulk data downloads as well as an API. 2000-2020.
MapLight, a nonpartisan research center, collected over 200,000 positions taken by interest groups on proposed federal legislation at various points in the legislative process, 2007-2022. Fields include Congressional session, bill number and name, type of legislative action, a flag for whether the action was substantive, organization name and ID, position (support/oppose), date, and title of position document. Data in Excel.
The Center for Political Accountability tracks disclosure practices of corporate political spending of the top 300 companies in the S&P 500. It creates an annual index, the CPA-Zicklin Index, ranking companies' disclosure transparency. 2011+
Includes information about thousands of organizations involved in national politics, their organizational characteristics, and the activities they undertook in the pursuit of policy influence. This collection encompasses all organizations listed in the Washington Representatives directories for 1981, 1991, 2001, 2006, and 2011. These organizations have been classified into 96 categories based on the kinds of interests represented. Variables include organization name, membership category, founding year, and main objective, as well as number of lobbyists hired, number of amicus briefs filed, political action committee (PAC) donations made, and web-based lobbying activities.
The National Center for Charitable Statistics builds compatible national, state, and regional databases and develops uniform standards for reporting on charitable organizations. Includes data on the finances and activities of nonprofit organizations 1989-2017. For other sources, including more current data, see the ProPublica Nonprofit Data Explorer and our subscription to Guidestar Pro.
Earmarks and Pork
After Republicans took control of the House and Senate, they placed a moratorium on earmarks in legislation, which appears to have been adhered to since 2011. Some sources for data from previous years is below.
"USAspending.gov is the publicly accessible, searchable website mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to give the American public access to information on how their tax dollars are spent."
Project led by Steven Ballmer to provide a detailed description of federal, state, and local government revenue and spending categorized according to 4 broad constitutionally expressed purposes with associated data on outcomes. All data comes from official sources; generally 1980–present. Also includes the current year data in a detailed 10-K style report.