“Against” contributions

Since i first saw mention of it by Jose Solorzano (in his prospect#180, now closed at https://www.kaggle.com/c/cir-prospect i guess?), it has been clear that “against” contributions would be a critical feature to capture.  looking at the FEC’s descriptions at http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/metadata/DataDictionaryTransactionTypeCodes.shtml  lists 24A and 24N as explicitly “against.”

The fact that these seem to be in constant flux (cf. http://www.fec.gov/blog/disclosure/entry/four_4_new_transaction_type, 20 Aug 12) doesn’t inspire confidence, either!

Brandon, i see you’ve include 22Y as well; why is that?

Another thing i noticed is that many of the amount fields are negative?!  These seem to be focused on particular transaction types:

PType Total $Amt
24E $269209
24A $27756
24C 416764
24K $6468806
24Z $3595

(see lines 540-543 in pyfec.py for details.)  so, for now, my code focuses on trans types 24A, 24N and also treats negative amounts as” against.”  can we do better?

1 thought on ““Against” contributions

  1. some of the candidates died, dropped out, or for some other reason, refunded contributions (22Y, “CONTRIBUTION REFUND TO INDIVIDUAL” & 22Z, “CONTRIBUTION REFUND TO CANDIDATE/COMMITTEE”). I was only interested in seeing who backed a candidate, not really caring about the money flow after the initial donation. The loans were weird territory that I probably should have eliminated, but there are so few of them that they really sink to the bottom of the data. The majority of contributions are #15. There are a lot of earmarked donations, too, which could be interesting to look at.

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