ISS building database to track elusive PAC spending

Throwing the curtain back on outside influence:

We're launching as a beta release, largely because of gaps and inconsistencies in government reports. For example, a search of the NC State Board of Elections website for Independent Expenditures and Electioneering Communications* -- the two main ways independent election spending is classified in NC -- reveal only a fraction of the committees putting money into state-level politics.

Anybody who's spent time combing the BOE's campaign reports knows there is a huge chasm between accurate and helpful information and no information at all. Such is the drawback to self-reporting to a horribly understaffed regulatory arm of state government. But this is what's at stake:

In 2010, North Carolina was a case study in the growing influence of outside election spending, with more than $2.6 million spent on N.C. legislative races by 11 independent groups. That year, outside money benefited Republican candidates by a 10-to-1 margin, aiding the GOP's historic wins in the N.C. General Assembly.

Not only will this help us figure out who is behind the money skewing elections, it will also help to expose the corrupting effect of conflicts of interest after the election fur has stopped flying.

It hardly needs to be said, but this is a prime example of why the folks at Facing South have been under attack by the likes of Art Pope, and why those attacks will probably continue. It's also a prime example of why helping them with their mission could very well be the most effective use of your money in this election season.