Mapping the money (or, we play with internet toys)
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We’ve been digesting the campaign finance reports foiled last week for the California statewide races, which, to be perfectly honest, makes our eyes all runny and our heads hurt. Sigh. But it can’t be helped.
The problem with these reports is there’s just too much data in them for easy parsing, beyond the key issues of how much money did the candidate raise, and how much did he or she spend? And where? In fact, the where can be the most rewarding question, if you like to snicker behind your hand. What were they thinking?
But it also can be instructive to get graphical, with apologies to that old Olivia Newton-John song. We’ll be doing this for other races, too, so be patient, and look at this matchup of the race for the republican nomination for attorney general as an appetite-whetter.
The first map lists contributors to Steve Cooley, the current Los Angeles district attorney ($395,000 raised in the reporting period). The second maps contributors to John Eastman, former dean of the Chapman University School of Law ($189,000 raised in the period) Disclaimer: I teach journalism at Chapman part-time, but don’t know Eastman. You can clock on the maps and zoom in for more details on the numbered bubbles.
The Cooley map:
And the Eastman map: