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Following the campaign money trail

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It's easier now than ever before to know whose giving money in campaign 2004.

If you've ever wanted to know who's giving and who's getting money, whether it's President Bush, or your next door neighbor, News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says there is now a way via your computer.

There's so much skepticism about politicians and the money behind campaigns. The good news is that all but the smallest donations are public records. And they're easy to track - by politician or contributor.

Cash fuels a campaign - no wonder the candidates talk about it.

If you want to check the candidate’s claims - it's easy at opensecrets.org - a website of The Center for Responsive Politics. The website compiles campaign contributions - and campaign spending. For example - if you want to know where Tulsa congressman John Sullivan gets his donations -- just enter his name. I

f you want to know how much your neighbors gave him - type in your zip code. Zip code 74135 gave Sullivan $12,600. Keep going and you can find exactly who gave how much. That zip code's biggest contributor to Congressman Sullivan was Mike Case - he gave him $4,000.

The website can't tell you whether candidates have really walked in your shoes but it can tell you where they get their money. If you want to know exactly how much money from big oil - it's easy to find.

The Center's numbers show 2nd District congressional candidate Dan Boren got $66,110 from oil and gas interests - his top contributors when they're ranked by industry. Boren’s opponent Kalyn Free's top industry was gambling and casinos - which gave her $110,600.

The internet information is better organized on the opensecrets.org website - but the latest information is on a government website - the Federal Election Commission is where the candidates for national office file their reports.

And its worth remembering - if you donate to a campaign in an amount over $200 - your name address and occupation will show up on the internet - because it's all a public record.
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