The independent expenditures file contains detailed information about independent expenditures. These are spending by individual people, groups, political committees, corporations or unions expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate. These expenditures may not be made in concert or cooperation with or at the request or suggestion of a candidate, the candidate’s campaign or a political party.
This file contains 24-hour and 48-hour reports of independent expenditures filed during the current election cycle.
- 48-hour reports: Any time up to 20 days before an election, if independent expenditures by a person or organization aggregate more than $10,000 in a race they must be reported to the Commission before the end of the second day after the communication is publicly distributed.
- 24-hour reports: If the communications are distributed within the last 19 days before the election, the expenditure must be reported within one day if they aggregate more than $1,000 in a race.
The file shows detailed information about independent expenditures including who was paid, the purpose of the disbursement, date and amount of the expenditure, and the candidate supported or opposed by the expenditure. Historical data is available beginning with the 2010 election cycle.
This file contains transactions from both original reports and amended reports. Transactions from an original report are not removed when that report is later amended. This means that transactions will be duplicated in this dataset. Analysis of these data will require some work so that totals are not inflated. Generally this can be done by sorting the records by filer and date and targeted candidate with an examination of amendment indicator columns or report type codes when the same dates and amounts appear.
Independent expenditure file format
|Column name||Field name||Data type||Description||Range||Explanation||Example data|
|CAN_ID||Candidate ID||Character||Unique ID of candidate for or against whom the expenditure was made||9 characters||First character indicates office sought: H=House, S=Senate, P=Presidential. Characters 3 & 4 are the state abbreviation for Congressional candidates. NOTE - this information is provided by filers and may be missing - in these cases office, state, district and candidate name should appear.||H8VA01233|
|CAN_NAM||Candidate name||Character||Name of candidate||Max 90 characters||Martha Washington|
|SPE_ID||Spender ID||Character||Unique ID of committee, individual or group making expenditure||9 characters||Unique FEC ID assigned to the entity submitting reports of independent expenditures||C90012121|
|SPE_NAM||Spender name||Character||Name of committee, individual or group making expenditure||max 90 characters||American National Alliance|
|ELE_TYP||Election type||Character||Code for specific election for which expenditure was made||5 characters||First character indicates election - P=Primary, G=General, S=Special. Next four characters indicate election year.||P2018|
|CAN_OFF_STA||Candidate state||Character||Postal state abbreviation for the candidate||2 characters||VA|
|CAN_OFF_DIS||Candidate district||Number||District number for the candidate||2 characters||District location if spending for/against House candidate.||01|
|CAN_OFF||Office||Character||Office sought by candidate||1 character||H=House, S=Senate, P=President||G|
|CAN_PAR_AFF||Party||Character||Party abbreviation for candidate||3 characters||
The full list of party abbreviations
|EXP_AMO||Expenditure amount||Currency||Dollar amount of specific expenditure||10,000.00|
|EXP_DAT||Expenditure date||Date||Date of specific expenditure||MM/DD/YYYY||05/10/2018|
|AGG_AMO||Aggregate amount||Currency||Total amount expended during the calendar year, per election, per office sought||10,000.00|
|SUP_OPP||Support/Oppose||Character||S=Support, O=Oppose||1 character||S|
|PUR||Purpose of expenditure||Character||max 100 characters||description of the expenditure, e.g. television or radio ad||TV advertisement|
|PAY||Name of payee||Character||max 90 characters||Name of the person or vendor or other entity receiving this payment||ADE Production Company|
|FILE_NUM||Filing number||Number||Unique identifier for a submission (which may report several disbursements)||7 characters||1121112|
|AMN_IND||Amendment Indicator||Character||New report or amendment to a report||2 characters||A|
|TRA_ID||Transaction ID||Character||Unique identifier for the transaction (unique within the specific filing||Max 32 characters||123|
|IMA_NUM||Image number||VARCHAR2 (11) or VARCHAR2(18)||Image location for page on which transaction appears||VARCHAR2 (11) or VARCHAR2(18)||11-digit Image Number Format
YY - scanning year
OO - office (01 - House, 02 - Senate, 03 - FEC Paper, 90-99 - FEC Electronic)
RRR - reel number
FFFF- frame number
18-digit Image Number Format (June 29, 2015)
YYYY - scanning year
MM - scanning month
DD - scanning day
SS - source (02 - Senate, 03 - FEC Paper, 9x - FEC Electronic)
PPPPPPPP - page (reset to zero every year on January 1)
|REC_DT||Filing receipt date||Date||Date on which transaction was submitted to FEC||MM/DD/YYYY||10/17/2018|
|FEC_ELECTION_YR||Two-year period||Date||Two-year period||YYYY||1984|
|PREV_FILE_NUM||Previous filing number||Number||Reference to a filing being amended||6 characters||For electronic filings the previous filing number references the filing being amended. For new filings and paper filings this field will be null||1101110|
|DISSEM_DT||Dissemination date||Date||Date of public dissemination||MM/DD/YYYY||05/10/2018|