Track Arizona's 'Dark Money' Spending Tweet By Tweet

Published: Monday, August 1, 2016 - 2:32pm
Updated: Monday, August 1, 2016 - 3:55pm

(Screen capture from @azdarkmoneybot)
The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting has created a new tool that will monitor dark money filings with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Earlier this year, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that loosens regulations on anonymous campaign donations, or so-called dark money. Proponents called it an extension of free speech, but many others are concerned about how it could affect the political landscape.

Now, the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting has created a new tool that will monitor dark money filings with the Secretary of State’s Office. Just follow @azdarkmoneybot on Twitter, and you’ll see every time a dark money group spends money on an election, how much they spent, and what candidate or campaign it went to.

Evan Wyloge, who helped developed the Twitter bot, said we saw more dark money spent in 2014 than ever before, about $6.9 million total. He said he hopes this tool allows anyone – citizens or journalists who are interested – to easily access information about dark money expenditures in our state.

The groups they are looking at with this bot are classified by the Secretary of State’s Office as Independent Expenditures (Corp/LLC/Labor).

“These are typically non-profit groups, labor unions, or trade associations that have to file when they spend money to affect an election but they are not classified as a political committee,” Wyloge said. “So, they don’t ever have to file those quarterly reports, or those semi-regular reports that say ‘here’s who gave us our money.’”

Wyloge said they’re hoping the public wants to use this information to watch what’s happening in our state’s elections and that it can be a tool to local journalists who can keep an eye on dark money as it's spent in the next election.

Take a look at tweets from AZDarkMoneyBot

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