Follow the Money
In 1998, a law was enacted requiring the Wisconsin State Elections Board to create an electronic filing system for campaign finance reports. The system which was implemented in July 1999 requires all campaigns with contributions in excess of $20,000 to file finance reports in electronic and hard copy form.
If you surf the SEB website, you’ll see that electronic campaign finance reports can be viewed and downloaded in an Excel spreadsheet format. This format allows you to sort the report by date of contribution, contributor name, occupation, employer and even conduit account name. This is precisely the kind of unfettered access that electronic filing was intended to provide, but Diamond Jim Doyle doesn’t like it.
So Doyle’s campaign created a program that exports their campaign finance data to a Word file which can not be sorted or manipulated in any way, and they make sure to shuffle all the contributions before exporting the data.
Well, we’ve found a way around Jim Doyle’s obstructionism and we want to share it. Whether you’re a credentialed journalist, an amateur detective, a disgruntled current or former state employee, or just part of the pajama brigade, here is a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet file containing all individual contributions reported by Governor Doyle this cycle.
Sort it, play with it, match it up with key dates like when a contract was signed or legislation was about to be vetoed. Follow the money and you may uncover the next big government scandal.
Good luck and enjoy!