Plenty to uncover in the Openness Project

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If you’re a money-in-politics geek, you’ll love the Openness Project.

New Mexico’s Campaign Finance Information System operated by the Secretary of State’s office is a great resource that has improved in recent years, with bulk downloads and more.

But the Openness Project enhances that data with graphics, details and a more accessible way to examine the data over four election cycles.

So, here are a few things one can learn from surfing around the Openness Project that it might otherwise take a lot of digging to find out:

  • Democratic Attorney General Hector Balderas and Lt. Gov. John Sanchez have plenty of cash in the bank, topping the list of candidates. Neither is running for office in 2016, but might they be preparing for 2018 when Gov. Susana Martinez leaves office?
  • The South-Central PAC, a union group, is ranked third among political action committees when it comes to money in the bank at the end of the most recent filing period. That group spent virtually nothing in 2014, based on the graphics. Will they spend this year?
  • The general obligation bond ballot measure to pay for infrastructure at universities, libraries, aging facilities and more doesn’t draw much attention. But the GO Bonds for Education committee is raising some big bucks, mostly from university and college foundations.
  • When it comes to PACs, the GOP juggernaut Advance New Mexico Now is clearly ahead of the pack (and by that we mean the rest of the PACs). But examining Patriot Majority New Mexico’s trends over time, and you’d expect to see a big report from them on Tuesday as they stock up to support Democratic candidates.
  • Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez had more cash in the bank in early September than he’s ever had. Take a look at his spending in 2012, the last Senate election cycle – and prepare for plenty of spending from Sanchez this month.
  • Republican House Speaker Don Tripp is having a big year after spending relatively little in past election cycles.

So surf around the Openness Project, check out the top earners, the candidates, the political action committees.

And let us know in the comments what you find!

One thought on “Plenty to uncover in the Openness Project

  1. On Campaign/PAC Funds
    What ever happens to these funds when an elected official leaves office?
    Yes, the money can be given to charity, returned to donors and so on.
    But what if the elected official, now out of office, just spends the money on himself?
    Like resigned Phil Griego either did or tried to do?

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