So I had the bright idea this morning to add Kay Bailey Hutchison's gubernatorial contributions to the Tribune's state campaign-finance database, which until now only included currently elected state officials.
One problem: I broke an elementary rule to be mindful of data conversion errors.
Database manager programs, you see, assign what are essentially categories to fields, or columns, of records -- text, numbers, dates, etc.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
I appended the full database with Hutchison's 2,700 contributions (of $250 or more) between Jan. 1 and June 30, but the amounts were listed as text, not numbers or currency. Problems ensued.
Long story short, that's why the search application was down so long this morning.
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.