Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Brief Note on PA Campaign Finance Reports

I'm working on some long blog posts about campaign finance reports at the state level. So I took note of this message in my email today:

A new version of the free Pennsylvania Political Campaign Management Database (PPCM) was released this morning, it was announced today.

The PPCM, a free, Commonwealth-approved application for managing political campaigns and filing campaign finance reports with the Department of State has been uploaded to

I've never heard of this product and am not recommending it, but mentioning it as an example of the fact that such products are out there.

Candidates have to file, and need some system to track and report donations and expenses.

On the state level, however, finding, accessing, and making sense of reports is not as easy as it is on the federal level (at least for the House, the Senate reports aren't filed electronically). For one thing, in off years candidate don't have to file quarterly so significant stretches of time pass between reporting dates.

On the state website you have to drill down through the Dept. of State to find campaign finance reports. Those in the know can go directly to Find a committee's report and look at the Summary subsections. Subsection B is listed as:
Total Monatary Contributions and Receipts (from Schedule I)

That is cut and pasted. That's right, MonAtary contributions, not MonEtary. It is spelled wrong. How much faith do you have in reports when the word monetary is misspelled on the form. Want more fun? Take a look at Schedule I. This is subsection 4:
Other Receipts, Refinds, Interest Earned, Returned Checks, etc. (From Part E)

Yep, refInds, not refUnds, refInds.

These typos are on every campaign finance reports on the site -- they are built into the forms. If anyone has noticed nothing was done to correct them.

I have not the words.

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