Over the weekend, the Open Maine Politics site has added 2014 season campaign finance profiles for each member of the 127th Maine State Legislature. The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices provides searchable and downloadable data on its own website, but this data is not connected to profiles on the official website of the Maine State Legislature, and neither is the data aggregated into patterns by the Commission. We have featured links to legislators’ data on the Maine Commission website, but as of this morning Open Maine Politics’ legislator pages also feature charts displaying patterns in that data. These charts describe the portion of candidates’ contributions that come from within their own district vs. outside it and within the state of Maine vs. outside the state of Maine. In addition, charts show the amount and share of contributions coming from individuals, businesses, PACs, Maine Clean Election Act funds, the candidates themselves, other candidates, and other sources. Examples for Senator Brian Langley, Senator Scott Cyrway and Representative Jeff McCabe are shown below:
As always, each page features a commentary section where Maine citizens are welcomed to contribute their own thoughts on the information they encounter.
How else can the Open Maine Politics project usefully incorporate campaign finance data? I’d welcome suggestions and would love to read your more general thoughts on the subject.