True or false: Your U.S. senators have all the technology they need to disclose their donors online, instantaneously.
The answer: True! But you’d certainly be forgiven if you were led to believe otherwise.
Last weekend marked the deadline for all 100 U.S. senators to disclose their recent donors in year-end campaign reports. And despite the fact that each of them could have easily uploaded those reports online, most didn’t.
As of this writing, we count only 20 senators who offered instant electronic access to their campaign reports. The rest of the Senate — 80 percent of it — opted to bury access to their donors in reams of paper reports. Rather than viewing them online right now, you’ll have to wait months for those pages to be manually scanned and re-uploaded to the Web, before you can access them.
Now, in fairness to the paper pushers, the law actually requires that senators go through the arcane process of printing out their donors. Even those 20 senators who did opt to use the Net did so voluntarily. (We should also note, of course, that Sunlight strongly supports the bipartisan coalition of senators, led by Jon Tester, D-Mont., who are attempting to change that law and make e-filing mandatory in the upper chamber.)
So, kudos to those 20 senators who are showing leadership in the age of the Internet. And to those senators dragging their feet, we echo the persuasive words of one Peter Griffin: Come on!
In fact, we’re so eager to see more senators e-file, that we’ve taken to keeping tabs on the senators who have been showing leadership on the issue, and those who aren’t. We want to give you an opportunity to thank your senators if they do voluntarily e-file. And if they don’t, you can send them a different message: It’s the 21st Century. Wake up and #USETHENET!
We’ve listed the names of all the 20 senators who e-filed their year-end reports last week, below. And we’ve also set up a messaging tool that allows you to look up your state’s senators and send them a message about voluntarily e-filing. We encourage you to reach out and let them know instant disclosure is a priority for you — and that it should be for them, too. Just click on the image to get started.
Kudos to the following U.S. senators for e-filing their most recent campaign reports:
- Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
- Thad Cochran, R-Miss.
- John Cornyn, R-Texas*
- Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
- Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
- Al Franken, D-Minn.
- Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
- Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.
- Angus King, I-Maine*
- Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
- Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
- Evan Peters, D-Mich.
- Jack Reed, D-R.I.
- Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
- Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
- Jon Tester, D-Mont.
- Mark Warner, D-Va.
- Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
- Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
- Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
*The offices of Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Angus King, I-Maine, both regularly e-file, and confirmed that they intend to e-file their reports with the Federal Election Commission in the coming days.