Package openfec implements a client library for the OpenFEC API.
This package all allows you to explore the way candidates and committees fund their campaigns
by accessing FEC (Federal Election Committee) data.
A few restrictions limit the way you can use FEC data. For example, you can’t use contributor
lists for commercial purposes or to solicit donations.
Get an API key here: https://api.data.gov/signup/
Endpoints are classified in the following groups: Candidate, Committee, Financial, Filings and Schedules.
Candidate endpoints give you access to information about the people running for office.
This information is organized by candidate_id. If you're unfamiliar with candidate IDs,
using `/candidates/search` will help you locate a particular candidate.
Officially, a candidate is an individual seeking nomination for election to a federal
office. People become candidates when they (or agents working on their behalf)
raise contributions or make expenditures that exceed $5,000.
The candidate endpoints primarily use data from FEC registration
[Form 1](http://www.fec.gov/pdf/forms/fecfrm1.pdf), for candidate information, and
[Form 2](http://www.fec.gov/pdf/forms/fecfrm2.pdf), for committee information.
Committees are entities that spend and raise money in an election. Their characteristics and
relationships with candidates can change over time.
You might want to use filters or search endpoints to find the committee you're looking
for. Then you can use other committee endpoints to explore information about the committee
that interests you.
Financial information is organized by `committee_id`, so finding the committee you're interested in
will lead you to more granular financial information.
The committee endpoints include all FEC filers, even if they aren't registered as a committee.
Officially, committees include the committees and organizations that file with the FEC.
Several different types of organizations file financial reports with the FEC:
* Campaign committees authorized by particular candidates to raise and spend funds in
* Non-party committees (e.g., PACs), some of which may be sponsored by corporations,
unions, trade or membership groups, etc.
* Political party committees at the national, state, and local levels
* Groups and individuals making only independent expenditures
* Corporations, unions, and other organizations making internal communications
The committee endpoints primarily use data from FEC registration Form 1 and Form 2.
Fetch key information about a committee's Form 3, Form 3X, or Form 3P financial reports.
Most committees are required to summarize their financial activity in each filing; those summaries
are included in these files. Generally, committees file reports on a quarterly or monthly basis, but
some must also submit a report 12 days before primary elections. Therefore, during the primary
season, the period covered by this file may be different for different committees. These totals
also incorporate any changes made by committees, if any report covering the period is amended.
Information is made available on the API as soon as it's processed. Keep in mind, complex
paper filings take longer to process.
The financial endpoints use data from FEC [form 5](http://www.fec.gov/pdf/forms/fecfrm5.pdf),
for independent expenditors; or the summary and detailed summary pages of the FEC
[form 3](http://www.fec.gov/pdf/forms/fecfrm3.pdf), for House and Senate committees;
[form 3X](http://www.fec.gov/pdf/forms/fecfrm3x.pdf), for PACs and parties;
and [form 3P](http://www.fec.gov/pdf/forms/fecfrm3p.pdf), for presidential committees.
All official records and reports filed by or delivered to the FEC.
Note: because the filings data includes many records, counts for large
result sets are approximate.
Schedules come from particular sections on forms and contain detailed transactional data.
Schedule A explains where contributions come from. If you are interested in
individual donors, this will be the endpoint you use.
For the Schedule A aggregates, "memoed" items are not included to avoid double counting.
Schedule B explains how money is spent.