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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Ten years of Times fundraisers, from 2000 to 2016

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After the election, The Times used two round-ups to focus on the state of presidential fundraising, in 2001 and 2006. One helps to answer the two questions that most often arise after one of these historical surveys: Where did the money come from and where did it go?

Now PBS has started another round of round-ups. Among them is “The Pledge Drive of Barack Obama — Responding to Questions From America,” a relatively frank survey of the president’s return to campaigning. The other accounts for every single dollar raised by the president during his historic re-election campaign, which yielded a total of $1.4 billion.

The Times is making available all three of these fundraising round-ups (starting with 2001) in a free database. Google is making available all of the past six presidential fundraising cycles. The databases contain data for every treasury contribution made to presidential campaigns in those years, plus data for all presidential inauguration funds (not just for the presidency).

Anyone can use the database — they do not require a subscription to be accessible — and there are be plenty of ways for the nonprofitable, non-PBS to make money off them. Web designers, ad men, and journos from New York’s metropolitan Times-Observer newspapers could easily apply the documents to aid them in their reports.

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