Featured Articles

BLOG: Getting Nosy Using Hawaii’s Campaign Spending Tracker

November 25, 2013, 5:27 PM HST
* Updated November 25, 6:07 PM
Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

Apparently, this is the year of the web portal.

While the head of Hawai`i’s online Health Exchange was preparing to hit the “Esc” key (read: resign) amid continuing website dysfunction, two new government-run online tools were launched that show off what happens when government-sponsored web services are done correctly for a change.

We profiled the first, the “Location Affordability Portal” in an earlier blog post. It’s a handy tool for comparing the cost of living across multiple addresses and commute distances. If you haven’t already, give it a look.

The second, which we’ll introduce here, is the less-than-sexy sounding “Data Visualization App” from the Hawai`i Campaign Spending Commission.

After reading about the app in a brief post over at Honolulu Civil Beat, we decided to dive in and see what we could find.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

For nosy citizens (and journalists), the app turns out to be a total web dream.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Just enter a politician’s name, and all sorts of tantalizing tidbits show up, all neatly laid out on a series of pie charts.

Financial contributions? They got that. Expenditures? Oh yeah.

Contributions by source, amount, and by zip code? Yes, yes, and… you get the idea. Just mouse-over the pie charts to get actual dollar amounts by category.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Not only can you get a visual guide to the fundraising and spending habits of most state and county-level politicians, but you can also pull up all that raw, juicy data in an in-depth chart, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Here are a few tasty nuggets of info to whet your appetite for our coming series:

Did you know…

  • Rep. Clift Tsuji. House photo.

    Rep. Clift Tsuji. House photo.

    Rep. Clift Tsuji accepted $1,500 from the Monsanto Corporation in 2012, while Sen. Josh Green returned a total of $500 in donations to the same company.

  •  Sen. Malama Solomon’s campaign managed to get hit by service fees from Bank of Hawaii on seven separate occasions between March and July of 2012.
  •  Mayor Billy Kenoi’s campaign racked up $113,521.99 in food and beverage expenses in the most recent election cycle, while his opponent, former mayor Harry Kim, spent a total of $0 on same.

Note: The Data Visualization App runs well, but isn’t completely bug-free as of yet. If the graphs don’t load for you, try hitting the “reset” button on your browser a couple of times.

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.