Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dispelling The Obama Donor Record Myth

One of the underreported stories of the campaign season revolves around the acceptance of small donations by the Obama campaign. The campaign says that releasing the records would be just too cumbersome. But the folks at Slate say otherwise:

Barack Obama refuses to release the names of the 2 million-plus people who have given his campaign less than $200. According to campaign officials, it would be too difficult and time-consuming to extract this information from its database.

So how come we were able to do it in a couple hours? Not literally—we don't have access to the campaign's list of donors—but we created a database of similar size and format in a Web-ready file and posted it online. (You can view a sample text version of it here. The full version is 824 MB.)

Senator Obama would be wise to release the names to show that his record-shattering fund raising wasn't built on fraudulent donations as some have suspected. This wouldn't be too much to expect from the candidate who promises to be a new kind of politician, would it?

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