The Lonely Centrist

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Meanwhile, Back in the World of Campaign Finance Disclosure

It seems like everyone is suddenly up in arms that Senators don't have to file their campaign finance reports electronically. Jeffrey Birnbaum ran this column in the Washington Post, and now it seems that every Kos, Rick, and Krempasky in the blogosphere is joining in, along with Ed, Glenn, and a host of others, left and right.

But as Matt Johnston points out, nothing stops Senators from filing electronically, now. Supposedly, electronic filing is being blocked by two Senators, Lott and McConnell. But if it really mattered, nothing stops Senators McCain, Feingold, et al. from filing electronically now - which, as the Club for Growth blog points out, points out, it appears that they do not do.

If voters really cared, don't you think at least some senators would find some advantage to filing electronically on a voluntary basis? And how much does it matter? Has it ever mattered to you, or to any voter you know, that Senators don't file electronically? I guess to me this points up how much campaign finance is a big distraction from other issues that I think most Americans would see as much more important: I mean, who really cares about this? How does this affect the republic? What would we really gain. Over here, Brad Smith calls our attention to the fact that it is not like the information is not made public - we just have to wait a bit longer. But this is the age of instant gratification. Though it's hard to think of any reasons to oppose electronic filing, this just feels to me like a tempest in a teapot.

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