How Can You Discover How Much a Political Candidate Spends on a Campaign?


Quick Answer

Discover how much a political candidate spends on a federal election campaign by visiting the Federal Election Commission website and downloading a campaign finance report, as of 2015. Many states also operate their own financing report databases for local elections. Alternately, request reports through the Freedom of Information Act.

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How Can You Discover How Much a Political Candidate Spends on a Campaign?
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Full Answer

The Federal Election Commission creates and enforces regulations for all federal elections, including campaign financing rules and reporting. All candidates must file a report of the funds they receive and how they spend them with the commission in order to ensure that they do not receive funds from illegal sources and that the candidate or members of his staff don't keep the money for themselves. It is possible to view any reports filed electronically through the site or conduct a search for the record information of other finance reports. Some information on presidential campaign spending is also available on the site.

To determine if a state makes campaign spending reports available, you may need to search through its government website in order to locate a section on elections commissions or committees. If there is no information on the website, you may need to submit a request to the appropriate campaign oversight body for the election in question. The Freedom of Information Act allows any individual to submit a request to the government for official filings and documents through its website or a paper form.

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