Perhaps I'm Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but I honestly believe that politics should be local. Or at least as local as possible, as races spread across a district and across a state.
I started digging into the Texas campaign finance reports in mid December 2017. What I found shocked me, prompting me to write a series of posts on Facebook, detailing what I had found (links here on the page).
With the initial shock wearing off, and with others as amazed as I was that a handful of families were seemingly buying off politicians and races, I decided to see if I could make campaign finance a little easier to understand.
Everything on the dashboards is publicly available via the Texas Ethics Commission website. But here is the thing, it's not easy to interpret. It's a bunch of excel and csv files. For a lot of people, they don't want to wade through spreadsheets. And even if they do, things don't "link". I'm trying to take all of those spreadsheets and give them a shiny dashboard interface. If I can make the $$$ accessible and easy to understand, we can educate voters.
What is happening in Texas is probably happening all over the country. Small groups are gathering politicians from all over the state, gathering influence and power. They are spending millions to make it happen. But we can be smart. We can pay attention to what's happening and use the voice the founding fathers gave us, the right to vote.
And it goes beyond just "what" is happening. "Why" is tremendously important. Understanding the web of money, who is giving, and what they are attempting to do, it gives everyone a clear picture.
I hope this info on The Charts tab is useful. I would give me great pleasure to be able to tell my wife all the time I've spent putting this together has made a difference for someone. I'm not a political person, making a living in politics. I'm just a regular guy who saw something, and now I'm saying something.