Campaign finance reports available online

by Staff on November 12, 2010

We at Post Somerville are excited to announce that, through a Freedom of Information Act request facilitated by MuckRock, the most recent campaign finance reports for the mayor of Somerville and members of the Board of Aldermen are now available online.

These reports detail both the contributions from individuals to these officials’ campaigns and the way the money was spent.

This information is critical to understanding the relationship between money and politics in Somerville. While these reports are only one piece of the puzzle, even a quick glance will show that many who get contracts and receive zoning relief from the city appear in these lists.

Until now, this information has only been available to people willing to go to City Hall and ask to see the reports. Having these reports online means anyone can access them at any time – without city officials knowing you’re looking at them.

Post Somerville will be analyzing the reports in the coming months. We will also be working to expand disclosure by obtaining both older filings. Please feel free to share any ideas about what you would like to see come from this project.

Thanks again to: MuckRock’s Michael Morisy, those who provided funding through, and the City of Somerville Elections Department, for their help in putting these documents where they belong.

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Alex Lessin November 19, 2010 at 12:42 AM

Thank you, postsomerville, for your important work on this. I am certainly eager to see what you come up with. Besides what you’ve stated — the relation between donations and city benefits — I wonder if you’re able to find the converse:
of all those who vote in Somerville, how many donate? Do these donations or lack of donations say anything about the engagement of Somerville voters? Further, how well did the vendors who received contracts perform? Did they meet expectations?

Please let me know if I may be of help. Best, and good luck, Alex.

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