Writing:Campaign contributions (ballot measures)

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This page is a content-and-style guide about how to add a "Campaign contributions" section to ballot measure articles.
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Overview articles

Library of tutorials

A successful campaign contributions section on Ballotpedia:

  • Tells readers everything they might need or want to know about donors and campaign donations related to particular ballot measure.
  • Is readable.
  • Is included in both support and opposition sections, unless campaign donations become significant enough that you want a separate section in the article.
  • Provides a financial summary for the ballot measure campaign, including contributions and expenditures.
  • Clearly highlights the top five or ten donations by organization and amount.
  • Highlights donor trends.
  • Uses a campaign contribution chart to format the "top 5" information in an easily readable layout.
  • Includes references to referenced articles (e.g. state website data) both following the financial summary as well as in the contribution chart if sources outside of state websites are used (e.g. newspaper articles).

Campaign contributions

Features

  • # of PACs per campaign
  • PAC info - amount raised and spent
  • Top 5 donors

Sources of information

Where to add the section

Generally, the section on campaign contributions should be added under both the "support" and "opposition" as a subsection called "campaign contributions." In other words...

...
==Support==
===Supporters===
===Arguments===
===Campaign contributions===
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS GO HERE
...

NOTE: for long articles or notable measures

In cases where the measure is considered a "notable measure" or is a long, detailed article such as Ohio's Issue 2 - SB 5 Veto then the campaign contributions section should be a section all on its own called "campaign contributions." This section should be listed below the "support" and "opposition."

Components

  • Financial summary
  • Top 5 donors
  • Total contributions summary box

Financial summary

The financial summary should be included in every "campaign contributions" section. The summary should always include:

  • Identifies the main supporting and opposing campaign PACs.
  • Includes the total amount of contributions and expenditures.
  • References to campaign finance reports or other sources of information (e.g. newspaper articles or alternate web sources).

Wiki-code


<u>'''PAC info:'''</u>
{| class="wikitable"
|-
! valign="bottom" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | PAC
! valign="bottom" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Amount raised
! valign="bottom" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Amount spent
|-
| PAC #1 || $$$
|-
|style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | '''Total''' 
|style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" align="center"|'''$$$'''
|style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" align="center"|'''$$$'''
|-
|}

Top 5 donors

A chart of the top 5 donors should also be featured:

Wiki-code:

<u>'''Top 5 contributors:'''</u>
{{donor box}}
|-
| Organization #1 || $$$
|-
| Organization #2 || $$$
|-
| Individual #1 || $$$
|-
| Individual #2 || $$$
|-
|}

Total contributions summary box

Also, make sure the ballot measure article includes the following summary box. This should be added only once to the article. In a short article, this may be added closely to the support contributions section. In a long article, this should be added to the main contributions section.:

{|class="infobox" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="5" border="1"  style="background-color:#FBEC5D; color:black;" style="width:20%;"

|-
| colspan="2" style="background-color:#FBEC5D; color:black;" align="center" | '''Total campaign cash''' [[File:Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png|21px]]

|-
| style="background-color:white; color:black;" | {{support}} '''Support:'''
| align="right" | '''$$$$'''

|-
| style="background-color:white; color: black;" | {{oppose}} '''Opposition:''' 
| align="right" | '''$$$$$'''
|}

WARNING

Below are a few things that you might want to keep an eye on:

  • Reporting dates: Campaign contribution laws vary from state to state. Some states require that finance reports be filed more frequently than others. You may want to note this in the campaign contribution sections. Information on state campaign finance requirements can be found below:
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming
  • Multiple contributions: At times on PAC (political action committee) may donate to more than one measure scheduled to appear on the statewide ballot. In such cases, it is usually very difficult to separate the donations. If that happens, you should a statement to the section that says something along the lines of the sentence listed below.
Committee X registered in support of Proposition Y, but also registered in support of other propositions in YEAR (particularly, Proposition Z.) Because of this, it is not possible to say with precision how much of the money raised or spent by these committees was particularly directed at promoting Proposition Y.

Try it

To practice using the wiki-code and implementing all the required components for this section go to the sandbox and feel free to practice as much as you would like. Once you are done practicing, please blank the page so others may also practice.

Example

Small article

Below is an example of a "donor" section for a small article:

See article: Washington_Liquor_State_Licensing,_Initiative_1183_(2011)#Donors_2

Campaign contributions

According to the State of Washington Public Disclosure Commission there was one political action committees registered in opposition of I-1183: "Protect Our Communities."

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $22,738,021.48
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $7,426,968.46

PAC info:[1]

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Protect Our Communities $7,426,968.46[2] $1,094,989.21
Total $1,391,224.04 $1,274,563.90

Top 5 contributors:

Donor Amount
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. $5,784,000[3][4]
National Beer Wholesalers Assn. $500,000[5]
WA Beer & Wine Wholesalers Assn. PAC $500,000[6]
UFCW Local 21 $365,000[7]
Hood River Distillers, Inc. $100,000[8]

(last updated October 2011)



Long/notable article

Below is an example of a "donor" section for a long article/notable measure:

See article: Ohio_Senate_Bill_5_Veto_Referendum,_Issue_2_(2011)#Campaign_contributions

Campaign contributions

Support

The following are contributions that were made toward the effort in favor of Issue 2, therefore in favor of Senate Bill 5. The contributions were all made by Building A Better Ohio, according to reports. The following contributions are the five highest donations made by the group.[9]

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Building a Better Ohio $$$ $$$
Total $$$$ $$$$

Top 5 contributors:

Donor Amount
Building A Better Ohio $1,700,000
Building A Better Ohio $1,300,000
Building A Better Ohio $1,000,000
Building A Better Ohio $1,000,000
Building A Better Ohio $600,000
Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $7,599,000
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $19,048,680.82
Opposition

The following are contributions that were made in opposition of Issue 2, therefore in opposition of Senate Bill 5. Contributions listed on this page are from those who have contributed $20,000 or higher. To view the total list of contributors to the campaign in support of the repeal, as of the semi-annual report filed on July 29, 2011, click here:

PAC info:

CHART LISTED HERE

Top 5 contributors:

CHART LISTED HERE

See also

References

  1. Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Initiatives 2011," accessed October 13, 2011
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Herald9192011
  3. $5,784,000 contributed to "Protect Our Communities", accessed October 13, 2011
  4. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Alcohol wholesalers give another $3.4 mil to fight privatized booze," October 18, 2011
  5. $500,000 contributed to "Protect Our Communities", accessed October 13, 2011
  6. $500,000 contributed to "Protect Our Communities", accessed October 13, 2011
  7. $365,000 contributed to "Protect Our Communities", accessed October 13, 2011
  8. $100,000 contributed to "Protect Our Communities", accessed October 13, 2011
  9. 'Ohio Secretary of State, "Transaction Details," accessed August 5, 2011