Thursday, August 6, 2009

Senator Roberts Tries To Derail Senate Transparency Bill

Roberts’ amendment would illegally intimidate non-profit organizations, stifle ethics complaints against senators

With the U.S. Senate winding down to take its annual August recess, maybe lawmakers want to show constituents some full-throated support for disclosure before they leave?

Ten government transparency groups, including the Center for Responsive Politics, are hoping senators will soon pass a bill to bring them up to speed with their counterparts in the U.S. House and those who run for president.

Unlike candidates for president and for the House, senators still file campaign finance reports on paper rather than electronically—meaning it can take weeks, if not months, to fully know what interests are bribing backing them.

The “Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act” (S. 482) would finally provide electronic filing for Senate candidates.

It has strong support from both parties, but Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS.) is playing politics by blocking the bill from moving forward – no doubt wearing his hat as chairman and fundraiser-in-chief for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

While Roberts claims to support the bill, in reality he is trying to kill it by attaching an irrelevant amendment which would force non-profit organizations to expose their members and donors when they file ethics complaints against senators. This tactic has been used in the past to intimidate and is clearly unconstitutional.

Please call your senators today urging them to pass S. 482, establishing electronic filing for senate campaign finance records, and to oppose Senator Roberts’ ghastly amendment designed to derail the campaign finance reporting measure.

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