This Saturday, Jan. 31, is the deadline for all U.S. senators to file their mandatory campaign finance reports, making details about campaign contributions and expenditures available to the public. Due to a loophole in the law that a handful of senators have been unwilling to close, senators are permitted to file reports on paper, rather than electronically with the Federal Election Commission. Here at Sunlight, we believe all senators should be using the ‘Net to upload their reports, rather than printing them out on reams and reams of paper. And that’s why, today, we’re embarking on a campaign to urge all senators to do just that ahead of Saturday’s deadline. And we need your help to do it.
Your senators have all the technology they need to disclose their campaign donors online. Still, using e-filing technology is voluntary. Whether a senator clicks “upload” or “print” is entirely up to them. That’s why we need to send a message before this deadline on Saturday. Our call or tweet tool makes it simple for you to find your senators and take action. So go ahead and take just the minute or two needed: Tell them to #USETHENET!
A bipartisan group of senators representing states across the country have already shown leadership and initiative by electronically filing their campaign finance reports in the past. We want to encourage them to do so again this weekend, while putting additional pressure on those senators still pushing paper to e-file, as well.
Campaign finance data is public information and even if the law doesn’t require it, there is no excuse for any sitting senator to delay disclosure of who is financing his or her campaign.
Eventually, common-sense legislation to require electronic filing by senators will become law. Until then, though, your elected officials need to know that you will not accept being kept in the dark when they have the power to shed a bright and immediate light on their campaign reports.