UCLA Launches First-of-Its-Kind Campaign Finance Database

UCLA Launches First-of-Its-Kind Campaign Finance Database

Los Angeles, CA- A first-of-its-kind database that will make it easy to compare and contrast the campaign finance disclosure statutes and regulations of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government was released by the UCLA School of Law as part of the Campaign Disclosure Project.

The database was designed to be useful to legislators, public interest groups, media representatives, scholars and the public. It is divided into 25 categories that reflect the most important campaign finance practices, such as filing deadlines, contributor information, loans to campaigns, electronic filing, enforcement rules and independent expenditures. The database is further divided into 105 subcategories and can be used to answer questions on topics such as whether the occupation of a contributor must be reported, or whether the state requires the disclosure of late independent expenditures.

“Many of the existing state disclosure laws originally were written in the 1970s during the post-Watergate crisis,” said Daniel Lowenstein, professor of law at UCLA and a national authority on election law. “Since then, some states have done an excellent job of amending their laws to reflect the public's desire to know more about who is financing elections. Other states have been less active in this regard. The database will allow people who care about these issues to compare the laws of their own state with states that are doing a better or worse job.”

Each entry in the database includes a full listing of the relevant statute or regulation. Users have two options. They can select a single state and view one or all entries for that state, or they can select multiple states and view a single type of law across all states. All entries in the database were current as of June 30, 2004.

The Campaign Disclosure Law Database is available on the Web at http://disclosure.law.ucla.edu/.

The Campaign Disclosure Law Database is based on research conducted at the UCLA School of Law. Research for the database was used to create the Model Law published by the Center for Governmental Studies and Grading State Disclosure published by the California Voter Foundation (copies of the Model Law and Grading State Disclosure are available at www.campaigndisclosure.org/).

The Campaign Disclosure Project is a partnership of the UCLA School of Law, the California Voter Foundation and the Center for Governmental Studies. The project is funded by a generous grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.