Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Senator Ensign: Show us the Money
I was in Reno, Nevada yesterday with former Nevada Common Cause Board Chair Jim Hulse and a group of activists who were calling on Senator Jim Ensign to explain his obstruction of a bill to require U.S. Senators to tell us who they are taking money from -- now.

Watch a video of our event here

Currently, Senators file campaign finance disclosure reports on paper. The paper reports are scanned into a computer, printed out, and then retyped to be placed on the Federal Election Commission website. This process takes about four months and costs about $250,000 in taxpayer dollars.

Senator Ensign has objected to a vote on the bill. He says he would like to attach an amendment that would require non-profit groups to disclose their donors if they file an ethics complaint against a sitting Senator. This amendment is controversial -- and appears more to be a ploy to prevent the electronic disclosure bill from passing.

This bill had been held up by an anonymous Senator for months. But then the Senate rules changed to forbid "secret holds." At that point, Senator Ensign stepped up to offer his amendment. See the real footage from the Senate as Senator Feingold explains the situation

My question for the Senator is this: "On whose behalf are you stopping timely disclosure of campaign finance information? Are there constituents from Nevada who have asked him to block this bill?"

For past Commonblog coverage of this issue, go here.

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