FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2016
CONTACT: Sam Mahood
Secretary Padilla launches first statewide campaign finance search engine available in Spanish
SACRAMENTO – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today announced that Power Search, a campaign finance search engine on the Secretary of State’s website, is now available in Spanish.
“As the amount of money in politics continues to grow—a clear picture of the flow of campaign dollars is critical for voters to be informed,” Secretary of State Padilla said. “Until today, important campaign finance data was only available in English. By offering Power Search in Spanish we are eliminating a big language barrier for many voters. A transparent campaign finance law only works if voters can easily read the data. English may not be the first language of every voter, but every voter has a right to view campaign finance data.”
California has the largest Latino population in the nation. According to Census Bureau data, as of July 1, 2014, approximately 14.99 million Latinos live in California. This makes Latinos the largest single ethnic group in the state.
Over 476,000 registered California voters already request that their campaign materials be provided in Spanish.
According to Census Bureau data, 39.3 million U.S. residents age 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home in 2014. This is a 126.3 percent increase since 1990 when it was 17.3 million. http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff16.pdf
Power Search allows anyone to swiftly and easily review the source, recipient and amount of state level campaign contributions. It provides useful summaries of information at the contributor, candidate, ballot measure and campaign committee levels with options for sorting and detailed searches in the data. Power Search also enables users to quickly and easily browse all independent expenditures affecting state-level candidates and ballot measures from 2001 through the present.
Power Search was developed in a partnership between the Secretary of State’s office and MapLight—a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that tracks money's influence on politics.
“We commend Secretary Padilla for helping make the money in our political system more transparent – and now more widely accessible to Spanish-speaking Californians,” said Daniel G. Newman, President and Co-Founder of MapLight. “This new development gives more Californians access to meaningful information about the influence of money in California politics. Power Search is an outstanding example of how government can leverage technology to support a more inclusive, accountable democracy.”
“For far too long, language has served as a significant barrier to Latino voters who would like to educate themselves about the entities and individuals that are financially backing political races, ballot measures and elected officials in their communities,” stated Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund executive director. “We applaud California Secretary of State Alex Padilla for eliminating this barrier by making California the first state in the nation to make a campaign finance search engine accessible in both English and Spanish. Secretary Padilla’s action on this key issue shines a spotlight on how the Golden State continues to set the gold standard for efforts to ensure that our political system remains responsive to all its citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status or language spoken.”