CAL-ACCESS FAQs Section 1 Question 8

How do I use "Advanced Search" to find and view campaign financial and other information?

"Advanced Search" allows you to search the Cal-Access database to display information about a multitude of subjects. For example, you can obtain information regarding contributions and independent expenditures of specified amounts made and received during a specified period of time. You can, for example, see what a particular contributor may have contributed to state candidates, state elected officials, state measures or state committees during particular periods of time. A great deal of other information is available through "Advanced Search." To do an "Advanced Search:"

  1. Find the "Advanced Search" link located in the upper left-hand portion of almost any Cal-Access menu page. Click on that link. It may take several seconds to process the request. If nothing seems to happen when you click on the link, wait a few seconds and the request is likely to be processed and the requested information will be displayed. This will bring up the "California Filings Searchable Database" page.
  2. On this page, there are numerous options. Click on the one in which you are interested. It may take several seconds for your request to be processed. If nothing seems to happen when you click on the link, wait a few seconds and the request is likely to be processed and the requested information will be displayed.
  3. When using "Advanced Search," be sure to use the date and monetary formats indicated. (mm/dd/yyyy and 999,999,999)
  4. When using "Advanced Search," be sure to use the "Search" button on the website rather than the "Enter" key on your keyboard.
  5. If you receive the message: "Your search returned more than the maximum allowed. Please refine you search," try narrowing your search by specifying a shorter time period or a higher minimum amount in case of contributions or expenditures.
  6. Example: Suppose you want to find out how much Anthony L. Miller contributed to all California candidates, political parties, and political committees during 2004. Click on "Advanced Search" on the "Campaign Finance" page. When the "California Filings Searchable Database" page opens, click on "Who's Giving" under "Campaign" - "Contributors." In the "Contributor Name" field, type in "Anthony L. Miller." In the "Date of Contribution" field, type in "01/01/2004" and "12/31/2004." Click on "Search." After several seconds, contributions made by Anthony L. Miller will be displayed. Details of the contributions will be displayed by clicking on the names/links.

Note: References in Cal-Access to "late" with respect to contributions or independent expenditures may not refer to contributions made or received or independent expenditures made during the normal late contribution and late independent expenditure periods (within the 16 days prior to an election.) (Government Code sections 82036, 82036.5, 84203, and 84204) This is because disclosure of some contributions or independent expenditures online or electronically utilizes multi-purpose Forms 496 and 497 and the disclosed contributions or independent expenditures may relate to transactions occurring other than during the late contribution and late independent expenditure periods. (Government Code sections 84204.5, 85309, and 85500)