My Pretty Money tool has gone through several different transformations depending on where it lived. For EdSource, we ultimately decided for a more streamlined version that focused more on the outside money flooding into the race rather than the money the candidate’s themselves were raising.
This largely had to do with how much outside money flowed into this often-sleepy race. Of the $30 million spent on that race, 85 percent came from outside groups; it was the most expensive statewide race in California in 2014.
I break out the donations that went to some of the largest independent expenditure committees that fueled both candidates. Visually, this version of the app didn’t have as many charts, but many tables. This is what worked for the EdSource context, but I’m glad other iterations of the app got to let the charts shine.
Moving forward to 2016, I need to do slightly more work to get this tool ready for real open source deployment. Of all my tools, this one has been the most successful in that regard, having been published on the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat and Lost Coast Outpost as well.
But originally I focused on making my own custom charts mainly cause at the time I wanted to learn how. Now that I have played around with D3 a bit, I might redo the tool with D3 charting instead.