Category Archives: Finance

What happens if the Federal Government Shuts Down?

This is some basic information put together by researcher Bill Lucey:


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Filed under Finance, Government and Politics

Searching 990s, financial disclosure for Congressmen…

Here’s a good source for free searches on 990s.  It’s called ERI Economic Research Institute.  Supposedly, they have most 990s, dating back to when the IRS began scanning them in.

The Washington Post makes the 2006 Financial Disclosure Reports available. They are in pdf format.

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Filed under Business, Finance, Government and Politics

Politics and campaign finance data

Here’s an interesting story from Wired about citizen watchdog groups on the Web:

“Tread carefully, politicians — concerned citizens are watching your every move on the web. Their tools? Custom data mashups that use public databases to draw correlations between every vote cast and every dollar spent in Washington.”

U.S. Presidential Election 2008 Campaign Finance Databases….from ResourceShelf

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Tracking Federal Dollars

Here are some federal databases on the Web to help track federal dollars, put up by,  which does legal research:

“Many of us in a position to be asked do not look forward to the inevitable questions that run along the lines of “did Organization X ever get any federal money?” or “how much do the feds contract out in industry Z?” The problem is that there will seldom be a simple, client-pleasing answer like “oh yes, $52,453,000.75 in fiscal year 2006, according to this single, comprehensive, and authoritative government database.” We have to be familiar with a variety of sources, their fundamental strengths and weaknesses, and the ways in which we will have to qualify our answers.

One of the inherent challenges is to educate your client about what qualifies as “federal money.” There are federal contracts of all shapes and sizes, loans, grants, and other forms of assistance. What’s more, contracts result in subcontracts and grant money can pass through one recipient on it way to another and another; little of this sub-award activity is tracked centrally.

Several central federal databases for contracts and awards information exist, and they can be accessed free of charge, but none of them is perfect.”

Go here for the entire article, by Peggy Garvin, published on April 24, 2007.

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Filed under Finance, Government and Politics