Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Local State Rep Pushes for More Campaign Contribution Transparancy

State Rep. Bob Freeman
Contributed photo
A new bill in the State House of Representatives would give voters a better idea of who has contributed to candidates' campaigns in advance of elections if passed into law.

State Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Northampton) today introduced legislation that would require Pennsylvania House and Senate candidates to file campaign expense reports at more frequent intervals in order to create a more transparent record-keeping process during an election year.

"The change would provide earlier disclosure and greater transparency on who is contributing to candidates for the General Assembly," Freeman said in a press release. "This is information voters should have access to earlier in a campaign than they currently do."

The legislation (H.B. 1175) would require candidates for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to file campaign expense reports on or before the sixth Tuesday before the election, in addition to the second Friday before the election, which is currently required. However, only candidates for statewide offices are required to file by the sixth Tuesday before the election. 

The currently required second-Friday expense report is filed just 10 days before the election.
Freeman said that filing comes so close to the election that the information about where a candidate is getting their contributions tends to get lost in the last week of campaign literature and other information.

"This would put everything on the table and allow voters to see who is backing which candidates and what they stand for, or more importantly, who they stand with," Freeman said.

The measure was referred to the House State Government Committee for consideration.

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