News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Counting Campaign Dollars

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) – the statute that governs the financing of federal elections. The FEC is an independent regulatory agency and is assigned to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections.

You can retrieve detailed lists of contributors based on type (individual or organization) and search for summary financial information about candidate campaigns, party committees, and other political committees.

Among thousands of data tables in the Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal is the Table of Contribution Limits 2011-2012

Historical data is available from the FEC’s Public Records Office (800) 424-9530 (press 2 when prompted) or e-mail pubrec@fec.gov.

What’s FRED?

What is FRED? Short for Federal Reserve Economic Data, FRED is an online database consisting of more than 55,000 economic data time series from 45 national, international, public, and private sources.

FRED, created in 1990 and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, combines data with a tools that help us understand and display economic data.

The categories that can be searched include: Money, Banking & Finance; Population, Employment & Labor Markets; Production & Business Activity; Price Indexes; International and Regional Data.

Be Safe on the Roads: IDOT YouTube

The Illinois Department of Transportation launched a new YouTube video series this week aptly called “On The Move.”

IDOT says videos will be produced on an ongoing basis and allow Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider to keep Illinois citizens up to date on state transportation issues.

“This video series is an opportunity for me to provide further details on several imperative topics here at IDOT and also to elaborate on what we are working on to help keep you, the motorist, informed” said Schneider in a press release. “I look forward to discussing new projects and initiatives as well as letting you know how you can help us keep our roads safe.”

The inaugural video of the series concentrates on traffic safety. Schneider gives the lowdown on those digital billboard displays which keep a running total of the number of traffic fatalities which have occurred on roads within the state and then spends some time passing on some solid traffic safety tips.