In the same vein as my idea for a Social Media Analyzer tool, my interest in politics also brought up another question: why isn’t there an easy way to see who — at a local level — is supporting different candidates?
Legally, political campaigns have to disclose who their donors are. After all, money often buys influence, and an elected officials’ constituents have the right to know for whom their representative might be working.
Naturally, there are all kinds of sneaky ways to get around these rules (search “dark money” for more on that topic), but at the local-level it’s good to know who has the ear of your local representative.
In the state of Ohio, we have a rather simple system where raw campaign contribution data is available for downloading and searching, but there isn’t an easy way to see (for instance) what counties are supporting which candidates.