Thursday marked the debut of Power Search, a new tool introduced by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and nonprofit research group MapLight to increase and streamline public access to campaign finance information across the state.
Largely the product of a $100,000 grant from the James Irvine Foundation, Power Search automatically filters through all electronically filed state-level contribution data reported to the Secretary of State’s CAL-ACCESS campaign finance filing and disclosure system since 2001. This includes contributions from individuals, businesses, and campaign committees to either a certain candidate or ballot measure.
A database disclaimer specifies that users must still resort to the traditional CAL-ACCESS search engine for financial data on other statewide political activities. Power Search does not access non-campaign expenditures by individuals, campaign committees, lobbying groups, or non-campaign committees.