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Unstacking the Deck: A Reporter's Guide To Campaign Finance
Michael A. Weber, Aron Pilhofer and Derek Willis
The latest Beat Book from Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., is a guide to navigating the language and practices of campaign finance. Journalists will find it invaluable for pursuing stories about the impact of money on elections, political parties and candidates at the federal, state and local levels.
  • Understand the loopholes in soft money restrictions.
  • Learn about the increased use of nonprofits to funnel money to candidates.
  • Find out how to track where candidates spend the money they raise.
  • Learn how to obtain and use pertinent documents and electronic data.
  • Find story examples from the IRE Resource Center.

Michael Weber is a freelance investigative reporter based in Columbus, Ohio. He has reported for mainstream and alternative news organizations including The NY Times, Oregon Public Broadcasting and AlterNet.

    In 1985 he built New York City's first comprehensive campaign finance database, working on index cards because personal computers were too slow for a database that large. His work led to the establishment of New York City's Campaign Finance Board. He spent eight years on Newsday's investigations team working with legendary editor Bob Greene.

   Weber's work has won top national, state and local awards for investigative reporting, database reporting, editorial series, environmental and political reporting, and media writing. He won fellowships from the Dick Goldensohn Fund in 1997 and the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2002 He has taught computer-assisted reporting and campaign finance sessions for IRE, NICAR, AP and the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs.