Kay Hagan is cosponsoring legislation introduced by Russ Feingold that will hold U.S. Senators to the same financial filing standards that members of the U.S. House must meet. Currently, senators are not required to file their campaign finance reports electronically. This means a delay of weeks before their reports can be reviewed by the public. During a campaign, those weeks can be crucial as voters are denied the ability to see who is financially supporting the candidates running for senate.
Political action committees, U.S. House candidates and presidential candidates all have to file electronically. Members of the Senate still fill out paper forms, pass them along to the secretary of the senate where they are then transmitted to the FEC. Transmission times have increased in recent years as the Senate grapples with a shortage of workers fluent in Morse code.
The process isn't just time-consuming, it's costly. The method used by the senate costs the taxpayers $250,000 each year.
For Hagan, it's pretty simple. She's just keeping a promise.
While campaigning for this position, I repeatedly promised to be an open and accessible elected representative for the people of North Carolina. Filing these kinds of important documents electronically is a big step in the right direction toward more accountability and disclosure for elected office holders. There is no reason to have one standard for House and Presidential campaigns, and another, weaker standard for Senate campaigns.
The bill, S. 482, enjoys strong bipartisan support. Richard Burr has not signed on as a cosponsor and has not released a statement of support for the legislation.