Monday, June 25, 2012

Why State Campaign Finance Reports Should Be Filed Electronically

Although the sky's the limit, Pennsylvania law does require candidates seeking state office to file periodic finance reports. That way we can follow the money. But in many cases, we won't be able to do that until after the election.

Here's why. There's two ways to file in Harrisburg, electronically or the old-fashioned way. If a candidate does file electronically, it will be on the state webpage almost immediately. But some do not, especially here in the Lehigh Valley.

Instead of scanning it in, the state sends these paper reports for data entry, and we wait months until the reports are online, totally defeating the whole point of disclosure.

Is this about to change?

According to The Post-Gazette, State Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver has introduced legislation that will require electronic filing. As an added benefit, this requirement will save the state $108,000 in outside contracts for data entry.

Locally, Culver has the support of fellow Republicans Marcia Hahn, Gary Day and Justin Simmons. But Democratic leaders and even the Governor claim to support some form of electronic filing.

We'll see.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

All designed to hurt the little guy and older candidates. This is bullshit!

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you can post anonymous hate on a blog, you can file electronically. People have a right to knoe who is buying our politicians.

Anonymous said...

Not another campaign finance reform piece........

Anonymous said...

In todays world there is no excuse for filing paper and using delay to mask who is giving as long as possible. Also, any contribution over $2000 should be posted in 48 hours of receipt.

Most of the major politicians are walking around with multiple cell phones. They have the capability to file electronically.

Anonymous said...

This is still nonsense. It is geared to keep out the average person and particularly older folks. It won't get anywhere in Harrisburg thank God. The savvy pol's will just have money go to a PAC or delay receipt.

More from the Republican Party and their slogan, "Ensuring the 'RIGHT' people vote and hold office, since 1980".

Big time BS.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said, if you are technologically proficient enough to be an anonymous troll, you can file electronically.

Anonymous said...

Older? I'm 62 and have always e-filed campaign finance reports.

Anonymous said...

This is hardly reform. No changes to how people raise money. It is only an attempt at greater transparency in elections. But we know the right hates this idea. They continue to support citizens united.

Anonymous said...

No harm, no foul but you did make a big deal about this during the LC primary, insisting that committees and persons who registered or filed their reports on paper, did so deliberately and had something to hide. Quite frankly, the State could simply change the forms, which list only a mailing address for filing so that folks who merely followed the instructions might be saved some wrath. Changing the form with instructions and a website for electronic filing would require no effort on behalf of lawmakers. Then perhaps your criticism would have been valid methinks. nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

My criticism was valid then, too. It defeats the very purpose when we don't learn who is funding a campaign until after the election is over.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the criticism that one might not learn about it timely but I disagree with the idea that anyone who simply follows the instructions on the form, and sends their paper to Harrisburg is deliberately trying to hide info. As an aside, it should not take a legislative bill to change the instructions on the form. nlv