Transparency USA has made some New Year's resolutions!
  • The "Donors" category has been renamed "Contributors" to clarify that not all contributions are monetary donations.
  • The "PACs" category has been renamed to "Committees," because the term "Political Action Committee" is not used in every state.
  • Soon, we will be rolling out changes to better differentiate between different types of transactions, whether monetary, non-monetary (in-kind), or something else. These different transaction types will also be handled more consistently among states.
Data Explanation for Michigan

Data Acquisition

The Michigan Secretary of State provides access to campaign finance reports in two ways:

  • Website – The Michigan website provides several different interfaces for browsing campaign finance information:
    • Committee Search – This interface allows users to search by committee or candidate name.
    • Contribution Analysis and Expenditure Search – These interfaces provide transaction-level search capability, filtering by committee, transaction information, and contributor or recipient information.
  • TSV Downloads Transaction and committee data is available in tab-separated-value (TSV) files.

Transparency USA downloads and imports the TSV files. It is worth noting that some of these files contain invalid TSV formatting. For example, if a record normally contains 20 values, and 19 tabs separating them, but one of the values contains a tab, it now appears to have 21 values. Transparency USA has developed some heuristics to resolve these issues, but may not be able to correct them in every case. Unfixable records cannot be imported.

Reported Data

Four types of files are provided by the state. Committees, contributions, expenditures, and receipts.

Committees

These records represent the candidates and committees registered to file with the state.

Transparency USA imports all of these records since they are the basis for all transactional filing.

Contributions

These reports include all contributions, including monetary and non-monetary in-kind contributions.

Transparency USA imports all data from these files.

Expenditures

Committees report money spent or donated to others as expenditures.

Transparency USA imports all data from these files.

Receipts

Receipt records represent cash received by committees other than contributions, such as interest payments, or refunds from other expenditures.

Transparency USA does not currently import these records. We are developing methods to better identify different contribution and expenditure types and plan to display records of this type in the future.

Party Information

Transparency USA displays the current party affiliation for active candidates and officeholders. The party information displayed may not be accurate:

  • For candidates who are not actively running for or serving in state-level office
  • When accessing candidate or officeholder data from previous election cycles

Party affiliation for active candidates and officeholders is provided by Ballotpedia.