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Metadata Description

Metadata description of Electioneering Communications Transactions

General Description

This file contains specific disbursement transactions disclosed to the Commission as electioneering communications. Electioneering communications are broadcast ads (radio, tv, cable or satellite) that are (1) sponsored by individuals or groups that are not political committees (i.e. not campaigns, PACs or parties), (2) distributed within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of the general election, (3) make reference to a federal candidate and (4)are targeted to the relevant electorate.

Filers report electioneering communications transactions in two parts: the recipient, cost, purchase and distribution dates of the expenditure, and the candidate or candidates identified in the communication. The report does not indicate how much of the reported expenditure should be allocated to each candidate listed. In an effort to help users work with this complicated data, we have divided the reported expenditure equally by the number of candidates named in the report. The resulting dataset provides the user with the reported expenditure amount, the number of reported candidates and the calculated pro rata amount per candidate.

Additional information about Electioneering Communications can be found here.

About This File

This file includes all transactions with disbursement dates beginning January 1, 2007. Please note that this file includes only reports disclosing disbursement activity; reports disclosing only receipts or no activity are not included.

For the current two-year cycle, electioneering communications disbursements are added to this file each morning. If an entity files an amendment to an original report, an automated process attempts to match the coverage and public distribution dates on FEC Form 9, the 24 Hour Notice of Disbursements/Obligations for Electioneering Communications, in order to include only the most recently filed electioneering communications report in this file. We recommend, however, that you check the reports as filed to ensure you aren’t counting the same disbursement more than once.

For prior election cycles, electioneering communications have already been streamlined to include only the latest amendment.

The Electioneering Communications Transactions File contains the following information:

Column Name Field Name Position Data Type Description
CANDIDATE_ID Candidate ID 1 Character

A 9-character alpha-numeric code assigned to a candidate by the Federal Election Commission. The candidate ID for a specific candidate remains the same across election cycles as long as the candidate is running for the same office.

CANDIDATE_NAME Candidate Name 2 Character  
Candidate Office 3 Character H = House
P = President
S = Seante
CANDIDATE_STATE Candidate State 4 Character House = state of race
President = US
Seante = state of race
Candidate District 5 Character Congressional district number.
Congressional At Large 00
Senate 00
Presidential 00
Committee ID 6 Character  
Filer ID 7 Character A 9-character alpha-numeric code assigned to a committee by the Federal Election Commission. The filer ID for a specific committee always remains the same.
Image Number 8 Number

Indicates the image location of the disbursement

11-digit Image Number Format
YY - scanning year
OO - office (01 - House, 02 - Senate, 03 - FEC Paper, 9x - FEC Electronic)
RRR - reel number
FFFF- frame number

18-digit Image Number Format (June 29, 2015)
YYYY - scanning year
MM - scanning month
DD - scanning day
SS - source (02 - Senate, 03 - FEC Paper, 9x - FEC Electronic)
PPPPPPPP - page (reset to zero every year on January 1)

Payee Name 9 Character  
Payee Street Address 10 Character  
Payee City 11 Character  
Payee State 12 Character  
Disbursement Description 13 Character  
Disbursement Date 14 Date Date reported on Schedule 9-B
Communication Date 15 Date Date reported on Schedule 9-B
Date of Public Distribution 16 Date Date reported on Form 9 page 1
Reported Disbursement Amount 17 Number Amount reported on Schedule 9-B
NUMBER_OF_CANDIDATES Number of Candidates 18 Number Number of candides reported on Schedule 9-B associated with a specific disbursement
CALCULATED_CANDIDATE_SHARE Calculated Share Per Candidate 19 Number Calculated Share equals Reported Disbursement Amount devided by Number of Candidates