CAL-ACCESS User's Manual (Frequently Asked Questions) "How do I...?"

About This User's Manual

An Introduction

This manual is intended to assist users of Cal-Access in filing campaign and lobbying statements and reports online or electronically and in accessing the data contained in those documents online.

The manual is divided into three sections. "Section 1" relates to viewing campaign finance and other information. "Section 2" relates to viewing lobbying finance and other information. "Section 3" relates to the online and electronic filing of documents.

Included in this User's Manual is reference information such as a Glossary, Statutes & Regulations, a Table of Forms, and Websites.

This is a dynamic document that will be updated with new and revised questions and appropriate answers.

You are invited to suggest new questions as well as revisions of the answers provided. To do so, please use the online form.

How to find out about the funding of state political campaigns and lobbying activities.

An Overview

Most state political campaigns and lobbying individuals and entities are required to file financial information with the Secretary of State online or electronically using a computer. The Secretary of State uses Cal-Access to make that information available free on the Internet.

If you want to see a copy of the financial disclosure document filed online or electronically by a state candidate or committee, log onto the Secretary of State's Campaign Finance website and click on the links provided. Step-by-step instructions are provided in this User's Manual in Section 1, Question 6.

If you want to see a copy of the financial disclosure document filed electronically by a lobbyist, lobbying firm, or lobbyist employer, log onto the Secretary of State's Lobbying Activity website and click on the links provided. This is covered in this User's Manual in Section 2, Question 1.

This User's Manual can assist you in searching Cal-Access to learn who has made and received state campaign contributions, the amount of the contributions, how the money contributed has been spent, and who has made independent expenditures to support or oppose state candidates and ballot measures. The User's Manual can help you to view information in Cal-Access regarding lobbying financial activity. The User's Manual can also assist filers to file state campaign and lobbying finance information online or electronically using Cal-Access.

If you need assistance with viewing or filing campaign and/or lobbying disclosure information and you can't find the answer in the User's Manual, don't hesitate to use our online form or call our "Help Desk" at (877) 745-3453 or (916) 653-7283.

Note: This User's Manual is not a substitute for legal advice. For information regarding compliance with the Political Reform Act, consult with legal counsel and/or visit the Fair Political Practices Commission's website.