Campaign finance fun online

The best part of Votenet’s online campaign finance site isn’t the latest soft money or the most recent presidential electronic filings. It’s not even the Gore/Lieberman Recount Committee‘s 527 IRS Filing, though that’s sure fun.

No, the best part of FECInfo at is the search engine that lets you look up campaign contributions by zip code.

I first linked to the site,, from and typed in my own Sparks zip code, 89431. Wa-hoo. A list of financial contributions from neighbors I didn’t know I had, like homemaker Lisa Daly, who gave $500 to Del Papa for Senate in July 1999. Some of the neighbors I did know, like John Ascuaga, who gave $1,000 in April to Ensign for Senate, and Daniel Hansen of Hansen Enterprises, whose numerous contributions to the Constitution Party National Committee and Bob Smith for President drone on for a page and a half.

Our downtown zip code at the RN&R yielded even more entertainment. Attorney Bill Bradley of Bradley, Drendel and Jeanney gave a couple grand to A Lot of People Supporting Ed Bernstein. So did a lot of other people, mostly lawyers.

Someone named Harvey Whittemore pitched chunks of dough into the political pizza parlor. In August, there was $10,000 to the Citizens Concerned for the National Interest. And several $5,000 contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. And more. Who’d have thought?

I’m not sure why the link of familiar names, numbers and political action committees is so intriguing. But this site is guaranteed to satisfy the political voyeur in you—or we’ll give you your money back.