Each week, the Missourian highlights a government record that is available to the public. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.
For a complete list of Show Me the Records, go to columbiamissourian.com/records.
The records: Campaign finance history for Missouri senators and representatives in Washington, D.C.
Why you’d want them: Sometimes, the legislative process comes to a halt when politicians concede to the influence of their campaign contributors.
Opensecrets.org is a watchdog website that helps to keep politicians in check, and that includes your local representative in Congress or Missouri’s two senators, Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill.
The website provides the complete campaign finance history for each politician and breaks down top contributors by industry. For example, the records could raise a red flag about a House Subcommittee member whose top contributor is the pharmaceutical industry.
Where to get them: Everything is available at opensecrets.org. The site works most easily if you know which politician you want to research — for that, click on “Politicians & Elections,” and navigate from there.
How much it will cost: The information is free.