National Institute on Money in State Politics
The National Institute on Money in State Politics was founded in 1999. according to its website it:
"...a nonpartisan 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organization dedicated to accurate, comprehensive and unbiased documentation and research on campaign finance at the state level. The Institute develops searchable databases, makes them available to the public online, and analyzes the information to determine the role campaign money plays in public policy debates in the states. The Institute also publishes studies and provides technical assistance and training to reporters, academic researchers and public interest groups that work on state policy issues."
The Institute is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the JEHT Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Albert A. List Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Pew Charitable Trusts and Sunlight Foundation.
It is also supported by "data sales to newspapers and university researchers; contracts for custom research and in-depth studies on the influence of money in politics; list enhancement projects with nonprofit organizations and foundations; and contributions from individuals concerned with transparency and accountability in the public sector."
The Institute describes itself as the only nonpartisan, nonprofit organization created to uncover the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states. "We encourage transparency and promote independent investigation of state-level campaign contributions by journalists, academic researchers, public-interest groups, government agencies, policymakers, students and the public at large."
The verifiable campaign-finance database and analyses are available on their website FollowTheMoney.org.
The Institute was launched as a national organization in 1999, expanding on regional efforts that had gathered campaign-finance data in three sections of the country. Three groups joined forces to launch the Institute as a comprehensive 50-state program: Western States Center in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest, Northeast Citizen Action Resource Center in New England and New York, and Democracy South in the South and Southeast.
While comprehensive information on campaign finances for federal candidates was made available through the Federal Election Commission, no such information existed for state-level candidates, political party committees or ballot measure committees.
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