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Keyboard activists needed to input campaign finance data into spreadsheets

posted Jun 13, 2017, 6:17 PM by Aaron Fowles
It's not exciting.  It's not public. It's not going to get you on the news.  It's not a good Facebook post.  It's not quick and easy.  It's not simple. 

It is tedious.  It is meticulous.  It is bad for your eyesight and posture.

But it is also important.

Based on just a cursory examination of campaign finance disclosures, I discovered that 8 out of 13 members of the city council received $3,500 in donations from the Tennessee Realtors PAC during the final days of the campaign.  One councilman received $1,000 directly from Makowsky, Ringel, and Greenberg, which is a party to the Overton Gateway situation.

We need a thorough examination of these documents in order to highlight further financial connections between the Memphis City Council and big business in the area.

I have taken all of the available campaign finance disclosures from the 2015 Memphis City Council race and saved them on Dropbox.  These documents were scanned in and deposited on the Shelby County Election Commission server as PDFs.  These documents are not machine-readable, meaning that you cannot copy and paste from them.  I have rotated the relevant pages to make the document readable without turning your head.

We need people willing to go through and manually type the campaign contribution information into a spreadsheet.  I will then merge those spreadsheets together and we can begin to get a picture of which individuals and corporations are financing campaigns in Memphis.

Please email me at if you are interested in helping.  I can coordinate the efforts so we don't have people manually scanning the same information.

You can see all the documents here:  

You may need to click a link to go beyond the login screen and get to the ZIP file.

If you don't want to do the work but are interested in seeing it done, you can donate to the Green Party so we can hire someone on Fiverr to do the work.