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 Minnesota

The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board (CFB) provides access to campaign finance reports in two ways:

  • Website – The CFB provides several interfaces in the “Reports & Data” section of their site. Some are:
    • Searches – Separate candidate, committee, contribution, expenditure, and contributor interfaces office some basic keyword-based searching.
    • Current Lists – Lists of active candidates, committees, and parties are available.
  • Open Records Request – An Access database can be requested directly from the office. <Jeff should probably expand on this>

Transparency USA sends an Open Records Request following each filing deadline, and the CFB provides a database of the most recent year’s updated activity. We also download and import the “current lists” to confirm the list of registered entities.

Reported Data

Current Lists

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.

Covers

Cover sheets contain summary information about each report filed by a PAC.

While Transparency USA does not display any raw cover information on the website, we do use the values to calculate several pieces of data, including:

  • Aggregated unitemized contributions – Added as contributions
  • Aggregated unitemized expenditures – Added as expenditures
  • Public subsidies – Added as contributions

Contributions

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

Transparency USA imports all data from these files.

Expenditures

These records include all expenditures, including monetary and non-monetary in-kind expenditures.

Transparency USA imports all data from these files.

Transfers

Transfer records represent expenditures from one committee to another. They can be monetary or non-monetary in-kind expenditures.

Transparency USA imports these records as expenditures and does not have a specific category for them since most states don’t differentiate between these and any other type of expenditures.

Loans

Filers must report loans received.

Transparency USA imports these records and displays them in our loans tab. In Minnesota, outstanding loans are continually re-reported until they are paid off, so we exclude all but the first reported instance of each.

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.