Where’s the Sunshine on Senate Campaign Finance Reports?

In late January, first-term Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) called on the Interior Department to allow a regulated wolf hunt in Montana. A few days later, he urged Taco Bell to use Montana beef in its restaurants.

In between, Tester introduced S. 219, the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act. The measure would require senators and U.S. Senate candidates to file their campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission — electronically.

“By law, the public has a right to know who’s funding the political campaigns of their leaders,” Tester said in a press release at the time of the bill’s introduction. “But it’s not real transparency when folks have to wait up to a month to get that information.”

Senate campaign committees remain the only federal political committees not required to file their financial disclosure reports electronically with the FEC. This means that it often take weeks, and sometimes months, to get detailed information about who is funding these politicians’ war chests.

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