It took a little longer than we hoped today, but we've posted the 1,600 or so files of detailed candidate spending for 2010 campaigns, and they're now available via the data catalog.
(There are a lot of moving parts when you build things in a test environment and then move them to "production" and sometimes these steps prove more challenging than we think they will be. Having spent a little time in surgical suites in the last week or so, I've become a fan of the standard medical practice of asking really stupid questions over and over -- "which side are we doing today?" -- because they increase the likelihood that nothing is missed, so I'm going to try to implement some of that in our development work. Most of our folks would rightly tell you that I already ask lots of stupid questions, so I have a head start. But I digress.)
You can choose to download the data in either XML or CSV format, and there is an XML schema that describes the file. You can get data for a specific House district or a Senate race, or choose all of the candidates in a particular state. You can also try to grab everything for all House or Senate candidates, but that will take a while now and only get worse as the cycle goes along, so think about what you're really trying to accomplish before you hit the download button.
Remember that this is just candidates active in 2010 elections, and includes detailed expenditures reported since January 1, 2009.
This represents a big step for us, long overdue, so let us know what you think and share any ideas you have for making it better. We continue to work on a process for flexible searches of these data and we'll let you know as we get closer to completing that project.
Also let us know what you'd like to see added to the catalog next. We're planning a process that is similar to this one for detailed receipts, and we'll also create files that focus on just itemized independent expenditures, electioneering communications, and lobbyist bundling of contributions, and summaries of committee activity for each month or quarter during an election cycle, but let us know if there is other information that would be helpful.