Archive for the ‘FEC’ Category

US presidential election fundraising: help us explore the FEC data

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

US presidential election fundraising: help us explore the FEC data by Simon Rogers.

From the post:

Interactive: Which candidate has raised the most cash? Where do the donors live? Find your way around the latest data from the Federal Election Commission with this interactive graphic by Craig Bloodworth at the Information Lab and Andy Cotgreave of Tableau.

  • What can you find in the data? Let us know in the comments below

Being able to track donations to who gets face time the president would be more helpful.

Would enable potential donors to gauge how much to donate for X amount of face time.

Until then, practice with this data.

Follow The Data – FEC Campaign Data Challenge

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Follow The Data – FEC Campaign Data Challenge by Andreas Kollegger.

Take the challenge and you may win a pass to Graph Connect, November 5 & 6 in San Francisco. (Closes 11 October 2012.)

In politics, people are often advised to “follow the money” to understand the forces influencing decisions. As engineers, we know we can do that and more by following the data.

Inspired by some innovative work by Dave Fauth, a Washington DC data analyst, we arranged a workshop to use FEC Campaign data that had been imported into Neo4j.


With the data imported, and a basic understanding of the domain model, we then challenged people to write Cypher queries to answer the following questions:

  1. All presidential candidates for 2012
  2. Most mythical presidential candidate
  3. Top 10 Presidential candidates according to number of campaign committees
  4. Find President Barack Obama
  5. Lookup Obama by his candidate ID
  6. Find Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney
  7. Lookup Romney by his candidate ID
  8. Find the shortest path of funding between Obama and Romney
  9. List the 10 top individual contributions to Obama
  10. List the 10 top individual contributions to Romney

Pointers to data, hints await at Andreas’ post.

Federal Election Commission Campaign Data Analysis

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Federal Election Commission Campaign Data Analysis by Dave Fauth.

From the post:

This post is inspired by Marko Rodriguez’ excellent post on a Graph-Based Movie Recommendation engine. I will use many of the same concepts that he describes in his post in order to load the data into Neo4J and then begin to analyze the data. This post will focus on the data loading. Follow-on posts will look at further analysis based on the relationships.


The Federal Election Commission has made campaign contribution data publicly available for download here. The FEC has provided campaign finance maps on its home page. The Sunlight Foundation has created the Influence Explorer to provide similar analysis.

This post and follow-on posts will look at analyzing the Campaign Data using the graph database Neo4j, and the graph traversal language Gremlin. This post will go about showing the data preparation, the data modeling and then loading into Neo4J.

I think the advantage that Dave’s work will have over the Sunlight Foundation “Influence Explorer” is that the “Influence Explorer” has a fairly simple model. Candidate gets money, therefore owned by contributor. To some degree true but how does that work when both sides of an issue are contributing money?

Tracing out the webs of influence that lead to particular positions is going to take something like Neo4j, primed with campaign contribution information but then decorated with other relationships and actors.