Federal Election Commission
How Can I use these files?List of downloadable files;
|Bradley Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|Bauer Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|Quayle Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|McCain Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|Dole Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|LaRouche Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|Gore Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|Buchanan Threshold File||Format for using the file|
|Keyes Threshold File||Format for using the file|
Matching Fund Submissions;
In addition to regular quarterly or monthly disclosure reports, presidential candidates who seek matching funds must submit information about matchable contributions to the FEC for review. During the 2000 campaign the Commission will place these files on our Internet site. The files are in compressed form and must be unzipped. They may then be imported into database or spreadsheet software as fixed width undelimited text files.
Contributions from individuals where the aggregate amount contributed by the individual is $250 or less are eligible to be matched on a dollar for dollar basis from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. This Fund includes proceeds from the voluntary check-off of $3 per person from income tax returns of eligible taxpayers. Candidates may submit any contribution from an individual (including those where the contribution amount is more than $250) in order to receive matching funds for the first $250 of the contribution. Some contributions included in these files, therefore, will also be included as detailed entries in the regular financial disclosure reports submitted by the campaigns.
All submissions are reviewed by the Commission to be sure that supporting documentation is in order and that there are no errors in the file before federal funds are certified to be paid. As a result, some contributions may be rejected and campaigns may resubmit rejected contributions if additional supporting material is provided. This means that specific contributions may appear more than once in the files of a particular candidate, so considerable care is required when interpreting these data.
Finally, note that 2 U.S.C. Section 438a(4) states that " any information copied from such reports or statements may not be sold or used by any person for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for commercial purposes. . .".
Using the Files
These files are compressed (zipped) and when expanded they can be used as fixed width undelimited ascii files. When you select a file from this page you will likely be asked whether you want to download (or perhaps save) the file or open it. It's best to save it on your system first, then expand it later. These files are easiest to use when loaded into database or spreadsheet programs. Most databases allow for importing files that are fixed width text - you should check the documentation for your software to learn how to import the data. The "format for using the file" gives specific fields along with their length which you will need to use to tell your software where each piece of information is located. First, unzip the file, then import or copy it into the software you intend to use to examine it using the format as your guide.