We're preparing to release a new summary file focusing on the 2009-2010 financial activity of PACs and parties, and we have some questions we'd like your help with.
There are lots of different kinds of groups that must file regular or occasional financial reports with us. While the two biggest categories of those (not including campaigns themselves) are PACs and party committees, others include people and/or groups making independent expenditures, groups making electioneering communications (broadcast ads close to an election that refer to a federal candidate), groups making internal communications to their own members advocating the election of federal candidates and a few other smaller sets.
The first question is, when we prepare files with financial summaries for committees should we throw all of these into the same set (with fields that distinguish among them) or is it better to create different files for different subsets? We're not talking about huge numbers of records here - the total for all non-candidate filers so far in 2009 is about 6,600 - and many of the groups that are not PACs or parties may have no financial activity since their reporting requirements are based on their specific actions and usually tied to campaign seasons.
If you have a preference, or an idea about how we should organize these files, post a comment.