Friday, February 18, 2011

Less Access to Campaign Finance Info??

Finding out who contributed to state level political campaigns in Pennsylvania is far more difficult than it needs to be. Years ago State Rep. Greg Vitali sponsored a database of campaign finance information. It was a nice little system and I used it quite a bit. Then the state decided it would make the information available to the public, which was a grand idea. Except that their system is not as easy to use as Vitali's was. And it has errors on it. When campaigns and PACs file electronically the information goes straight to digital but when the file in paper the information has to be input manually and a misspelling or a misplaced zero can make a world of difference.

Now, with state budget cutbacks, there are fewer people to work on inputting and uploading the information, which means that you and I and anyone else interested, won't get to see who is giving what to whom in a timely fashion, if at all.

Not good.

(See "PA will has less campaign finance info on-line," by Chris Brennan at the Daily News blog Philly Clout)


Adam Lang said...

And this is where government really needs to look at modernization to save money.

Obviously the solution to this has been to require all reports to be done electronically.

An easy piece of reform to guarantee transparency.

AboveAvgJane said...


I agree completely! Federal Senate reports can still be turned in on paper. Everything should be required to be filed electronically these days.