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Tag Archive: Senate E-File 2013

OpenGov Voices: Bringing Senate Campaigns into the 21st Century

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy Jon Testerof any of the information within the guest blog.

Jon Tester is the junior Senator from Montana. He and his wife, Sharla, still farm the 1,800 acres his grandparents homesteaded in 1912.

With the NSA’s secrets spilling into the news, folks around the country – including U.S. Senators – are demanding more transparency and accountability from the federal government. I fully support these calls for reform.

Transparency matters in the legislative branch, too. My fellow Senators must not neglect their own backyards. My colleagues need to hold themselves accountable to the American people and join me in lifting the veil that hides how Senators and Senate candidates report the money that funds their campaigns.

The Senate’s reporting system is stuck in the Dark Ages, and it’s hurting our democracy.

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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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CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

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