The Senate is not required to file their campaign finance reports with the FEC electronically. The Sunlight Foundation believes these reports should be online in a as soon as possible so people can see who is contributing to candidates’ coffers before Election Day. Earlier this year Sen. Feingold introduced Senate Bill 482, the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act would require the Senate to file their campaign donation forms electronically. To build support for this bill we launched the Pass 482 campaign to get senators to understand how important it is for them to file their reports electronically so we the people can see them in a timely manner. Right now the Senate can file on paper, which has to be sent to the FEC, and then the paper copies are sent to a company to be entered into a computer. This is a waste of time and money. The House, presidential candidates, and PACs have had to file electronically for 10 years the Senate should not be an exception.
This bill has no public opposition, and has 28 cosponsors. However, we want to build support for the bill because Sen. Pat Roberts from Kansas is rumored to want to add an amendment to this bill that would require organizations filing ethics complaints against senators to disclose their donors. This amendment has nothing to do with electronic filing and should be a stand alone bill and would block that passage of this non controversial bill.
Please call your senators and ask them to support S. 482. It’s time transparency is taken seriously by the Senate. This is a concrete step that can make it easier for everyone to get important information to voters.