CAL-ACCESS FAQs Section 1 Question 9

How do I find out who has made independent expenditures for or against a state candidate or state measure?

Note: This website contains financial information only regarding state candidates, state elected officials and state committees that have filed online or electronically with the Secretary of State. (You are encouraged to refer to "How to Use This Site" located in the "Resources" section of Cal-Access for useful information.)

  1. Go to the "Campaign Finance". (You may also reach this site from the Secretary of State's Home Page - by clicking on "Campaign Finance" under "Political Reform.")
  2. Click on "Candidates & Elected Officials" or "Propositions & Ballot Measures," depending the information desired. Select a candidate/measure listing and election in which you are interested. This will take you to a page listing candidates/measures by name.
  3. Click on the name of the candidate/measure in which you are interested. This will lead to the committee campaign finance page.
  4. Under "View Information," select "Late Independent Expenditures Affecting This Candidate/Measure." Select the election cycle in which you are interested if options are presented. Information regarding "independent expenditures" reported on Form 496 by online or electronic filers will be displayed. Note: As indicated on the website, this report works only if the filer reporting the independent expenditure lists the candidate's name as it exists in the database. Otherwise, the information for that independent expenditure may not be displayed here. For a more comprehensive listing of independent expenditures, try "Advanced Search" as discussed below or see answer to Question 8)
  5. Another way to find information regarding independent expenditures is to use the "Advanced Search." The "Advanced Search" link is located in the upper left-hand portion of almost any Cal-Access menu page. Click on that link. This will bring up the "California Filings Searchable Database" page.

     

    • Click on "Late Independent Expenditures" on the "California Filings Searchable Database" page under the "Expenditures" subtitle in the left-hand column. (Don't be misled by the word "Late" in the subtitle. The data for the most part includes all independent expenditure data filed online or electronically on Form 496 since January 1, 2000.)
    • To search on the target of an independent expenditure (e.g., a state candidate or state measure, provided that the maker of the independent expenditure has filed online or electronically), enter the data for the "Candidate Name" or "Measure Name." Click on "Search." The search results on the target of the independent expenditure will reveal the date, amount, and source of each independent expenditure made by various persons or committees based on the candidate or measure you selected.
    • To search on the filer who made the independent expenditure (e.g., a state major donor/independent expenditure committee or a state recipient committee, provided that the filer has filed online or electronically), enter the data for "Filer Name." (Entering only the last name may work best in some cases since this is a "keyword" search.) Click on "Search." The search results of the filer who made the independent expenditure(s) will show the date, amount, and target of each independent expenditure made by the filer type you selected.
    • When you search for the object or maker of an independent expenditure, if you click on the magnifying glass displayed, you can view descriptions of payments made to vendors, as well as the dates of each of these payments.

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)