In an effort to better understand the process of campaign financing in the mayoral race between New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and state Sen. Martin Looney, the Yale Daily News conducted a three-month-long investigation.

Reporters obtained campaign finance documents from the New Haven city clerk’s office detailing the campaign contributions given to both candidates. The data include the names of individual contributors, their addresses, occupations, employers, the size of their gifts and the dates of contribution. The records also include information about gifts from political action committees and party committees.

After entering the information into a database, reporters searched for any apparent patterns in the donations, including the sizes and dates of the contributions, geographical distribution of funds as well as the employers of the contributors. This report notes the contributions of key players in the city, including Yale, Yale-New Haven Hospital and prominent community members.

After conducting the analysis, reporters conducted follow-up interviews with contributors, campaign managers and members of PACs to understand what these numbers imply about campaign strategy.

For purposes of background information, reporters also researched the Connecticut laws regarding campaign financing.