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Tag Archive: e-file

States Lead on E-Filing, Will the Senate Catch Up?

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It seems our Senators have a thing or two learn from their home states when it comes to campaign finance reporting: 31 states currently require mandatory electronic reporting ("e-filing") of their elected representative's campaign finance records -- a leap above our Senate, which has failed to pass no-brainer e-filing legislation for over a decade. Sunlight conducted a review of the current state of similar filings in the states (see chart below), and the results are pretty surprising -- in a great way. State governments across the country -- 92% of them, in fact -- require at least optional, if not mandatory electronic filing for both houses of their bicameral legislatures.

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Free the Bill: It’s time for Electronic Filing Legislation to Become Law

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Senate E-Filing At Its FinestOne week from today, House and Senate candidates will file their campaign finance reports. Even this far out from the next elections, many thousands of pages documenting many millions of dollars of campaign contributions will be filed. And those reports will contain some interesting information—which donors are trying to make their mark by giving early and often; which industries are hedging their bets by donating to both parties and which are more partisan; whether there is a spike in contributions that can be tied to a particular issue or interest; and which special interest may be using the campaign finance process to gain access or influence with particular members of Congress.

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Groups come together in support of Senate e-filing

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A coalition of groups interested in campaign finance reform and government openness, including the Sunlight Foundation, have joined together to urge Senators to support the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act and "help ensure that citizens have the same access to campaign finance information about Senate candidates that they currently have regarding all other federal candidates, political parties, and federal PACs." Candidates for President and the House of Representatives file their campaign finance reports electronically; So do party committees and federal PACs. Only Senate candidates still do things the old fashioned way, filing their campaign finance reports on paper. The paper filings, over 380,000 pages worth last year, have to be transferred into electronic formats and posted online by the Federal Election Commission before the public is able to see what kind of money Senate candidates are raising, and who they are raising it from. This process is time consuming, expensive, and unnecessary. Luckily, the legislation introduced in the 113th Congress by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) would solve this problem and make Senate candidates more transparent and accountable to the public. The bill has been gaining momentum, garnering 34 bipartisan cosponsors since February. Unfortunately, previous versions of the bill have been blocked on a number of occasions. The bill's prospects are unclear this time around, but we are hopeful that the growing momentum for change will help push Senate candidates into the 21st century. You can read the full letter below.

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Nonprofit E-File Data Should Be Open

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The IRS is refusing to release digital e-file data for public documents filed by nonprofits--instead, they release it as PDFs. This introduces wasteful barriers for people who want to use this data. Carl Malamud's been fighting to fix this problem. We at Sunlight join him in calling for the IRS to release 990 e-file data.

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CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

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