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Follow the Money: A quick intro to election dollars

In this week's EW election coverage I write about who donated how much money to which campaign. One of the first rules of journalism (and keep in mind there are a lot of "number one rules of journalism") is follow the money.

Want to do a little Oregon campaign stalking yourself? Here's how. 

Go to the Oregon Secretary of State's web site. Then click "elections." From there choose (conveniently enough) the link that says "follow the money in Orestar." ("Campaign finance violations" is another fun one to surf.) 

I usually search the "Committee/filer search by name" tab and type the name of the person running into the box labeled "committee/filer name."

Here, typing in "Bozievich" gets you West Lane Commissioner candidate Jay Bozievich's "Friends of Jay Bozievich" committee.

The committe page tells you who filed the committee, who the treasurer is and contact information. It also gives you links to the data. 

Clicking "account summary" gets you this year's totals of what was spent and what came in. Hitting previous at the bottom of that page gets you the numbers from previous years. As of today, Bozievich is reporting more than $109,000 in donations in 2014 and more than $115,000 in expenditures. There are a couple reasons a candidate may have spent more than he or she has brought in, and one is there is sometimes a (legal) lag time in when candidates report money after they get it.

To see who gave money and how much, click the "campaign finance activity" link on the committee page.

Here we can see that Bozievich's most recent donations include $25o from Reed's Trucking and $14,500 from the Community Action Network. He's spent $15,000 with New Media Northwest — probably on television commericials. 

 

Want to know who's behind the Community Action Network and has all that money? Type Community Action Network into the box where you typed Bozievich's name on your original search. That gets you the committe page telling you it was created by Dennis Morgan. Clicking the "campaign finance activity" link shows you who gave money (cash contribution) and where CAN spent money (expenditure). Looks like a lot of the money came from the timber industry: Giustina, Murphy Company and Delta Construction, to name a few. Now go have fun web-stalking campaign donations.