Required skimming: campaign finance

Here's how to follow the money

This month, CJR presents “Required Skimming,” a daily miniguide to our staffers’ beats and obsessions, ranging from finance to food. If we overlooked any of your must-read destinations, please tell us in the comments.

• ProPublica: Ease into the murky, jargon-heavy world of campaign finance with the soul-funk sounds of ProPublica’s “Oh, Super PACS! A Music Video” explainer; take a lap from time to time around the frequently updated PAC track (and biggest donors and biggest money-makers charts); and return for the solid, readable reporting from Justin Elliott and Kim Barker, among others.

• Rick Hasen’s electionlawblog (and Twitter feed): Just about every newsworthy development on the campaign-finance front is aggregated (and often wrestled with) here by Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine and a go-to source for reporters on this complicated beat. 

• The Center For Responsive Politics’s OpenSecrets Blog offers a daily, newsy look at who’s spending whose money on what, where. Its series “The Shadow Money Trail” pokes into the money behind non-disclosing, outside-spending groups.

• The New York Times’s interactive news developers make money in politics easy on the eyes.

• Finally, follow these seven follow-the-money reporters on Twitter for a continuous reading list of worthwhile work (often—but, not only—their own): Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel and Dave Levinthal, the Washington Post’s Dan Eggen, The Huffington Post’s Paul Blumenthal, the Los Angeles Times’s Matea Gold, Bloomberg News’s Jonathan D. Salant, and Roll Call’s Eliza Newlin Carney.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR. Tags: