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Virginia: mapping the money

AP reports: Campaign finance data isn't just for number-crunching politics nerds any more.

The Virginia Public Access Project's widely used Web site goes graphical on Thursday, using a locality-by-locality map to illustrate where candidates get their donations far better than tables of names and numbers.

"We'll be taking them on a visual journey of campaign finance where before they had to sort through columns and rows," said Aaron Kessler, deputy director of VPAP.

The VPAP Web site--vpap.org--for years has been an indispensable tool for political insiders, donors, interest groups, elected officials, journalists and campaign professionals.

Since 1997, the private, nonpartisan and nonprofit VPAP has gathered, fact-checked and coded State Board of Elections campaign finance report data, allowing the public to see how money influences the state's elections. -- Campaign finance organization goes graphical