OPENSECRETS.ORG LAUNCHES SECTION TO FOLLOW THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

Ten months before even the first primary, the candidates for president are already crisscrossing the country, and much of their travel is to collect money. After April 15, when the first quarter’s campaign finance reports are due, we’ll know exactly how successful their fundraising has been. Until then, OpenSecrets.org has posted a first look at all the major candidates in the mix for 2008, along with their fundraising for previous elections and a digest of money-in-politics news related to the race.

* ’08 Presidential Section: http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/index.asp

FUNDRAISING WASN’T FOR THE FOREFATHERS

It’s a scene that George Washington couldn’t possibly have envisioned in 1789: Presidential candidates entering the race with millions of dollars in the bank, Hollywood parties bagging $1.3 million for a single candidate in one night and a campaign season beginning a full two years before the sitting president leaves office. In fact, the concept of fundraising itself would have been foreign to the early presidents, who were part of a political culture in which they, not their backers, were more often the gift-givers.

* Read the full article: http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=249

PRESIDENTS DAY DELAYS RENEW CALL FOR AIRLINE PASSENGER ‘BILL OF RIGHTS’

As holiday travelers sat on airport tarmacs or were turned away from canceled flights, proponents of a “bill of rights” for airline passengers renewed their call for legislation. The idea has been on Congress’s radar going back several years, but, like those who hoped to fly over this past holiday weekend, it hasn’t gone anywhere. The delay may have been influenced by the airlines and unions that would be affected by such regulation.

* The Center’s 2001 analysis of the issue: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/airlines/index.htm

* Campaign finance profile of the airline industry: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=T1100

* Lobbying profile of the airline industry: http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists/induscode.asp?code=T1100

* Campaign finance profile of air transport unions: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=LT100

* Lobbying profile of air transport unions: http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists/induscode.asp?code=LT100

ENHANCED DONOR LOOKUP NOW SEARCHES ALL NINE ELECTION CYCLES

We’ve expanded the capability of OpenSecrets.org’s popular Donor Lookup feature. Now – all with one custom search – you can call up records of individual contributions dating back to 1989. (Previously, we limited searches to three of the most recent cycles or up to two earlier cycles.) We have also implemented a security step that asks you to enter a five-digit code before searching. This is intended, in part, to prevent large-scale scraping of contributor data and the unlawful use of such data for solicitation. Take two seconds to enter the code and you’ll be able to search all nine election cycles at once – and a 10th when we add the ’08 cycle in the coming months. The individual contribution data has been updated to include year-end data available Feb. 19 from the Federal Election Commission.

* Newly enhanced Donor Lookup: http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/index.asp

”’This is a report by CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS MONEY-IN-POLITICS NEWS. Find out more at mailto:editor@capitaleye.org; web: http://www.OpenSecrets.org; http://www.CapitalEye.org”’

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