National Press Club

It's never too early to follow the money: Getting ready for 2018; Oct. 13, 20, Nov. 3

October 10, 2017 | By Kathy Kiely |

The homestretch of the 2018 elections is a year away, and political spending already is underway. The National Press Club Journalism Institute is presenting a fall curriculum for reporters who will be keeping readers, viewers and listeners posted on who is trying to influence the outcome.

The series, “It’s never too early to follow the money,” will be held in three separate sessions in the Club’s Bloomberg Room. Each session requires separate registration, found in the links below. Tickets for each are $5 for Club members and $10 for non-members.

Come to one or all of our sessions and learn how to help your audience be more intelligent voters.

Oct. 13 Meet the new Federal Election Commission website, 9:30 a.m. -11 a.m.

As frequent users know, things have changed dramatically this year at the FEC. This is a chance to learn the tricks and functionality of this important website from some of staffers who helped revamp it. It’s also a chance to bring your requests for old favorites you’d like to see restored.

Oct. 20 All your favorites (and some new ones) from the Center for Responsive Politics 9:30 a.m. -11 a.m.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics analyzes campaign finance data, and gathers information on lobbying, the personal finances of members of Congress, as well as, increasingly, dark money. Join members of the staff for a tour of their established resources and a look at new ones in the process of being rolled out, including data on foreign lobbyists and political TV ad buys.

Nov. 3 Lightening the money 9:30 a.m. -11 a.m.

U.S. companies are facing heightened pressure to play the political money game – and heightened risk if they do. The Center for Public Accountability, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization started by former reporter Bruce Freed, has been working for years to urge the corporations — some of the biggest spenders in congressional and legislative races — to reduce that risk by disclosing their political spending even when they are not legally required to do so. And he’s had some success. Join Freed and his staff for a look at this year’s CPA-Zicklin Index, and a new database, These are tools that can help reporters track and understand otherwise opaque corporate political spending.