Nashvillian Mike Peden takes upon himself to do what the Metro Election Commission should be doing: providing campaign finance numbers for local candidates so transparently (like online) that constituents can conveniently get them any time. Mike's been trying to get the latest numbers to post on his website since January 4, but after reading the lengthy email thread he sent me, I am beginning to wonder if Deputy Administrator Joan Nixon is doing the bureaucratic sidestep.
Over a month ago Ms. Nixon told Mike that he would be provided copies of 4th quarter reports for candidates and PACS (2011 cycle) on or before February 10. The reporting period starts October 1 and ends on January 15th (due January 25). Yesterday she emailed Mike that she would not be able to make "any copies of this magnitude" until next week as their copier is on the fritz. She told him she would let him know about the status of his request on February 15.
It's been almost 2 weeks since the beneficiaries were required to turn in their reports. And the Election Commission can't get a copier that serves the public interest repaired for a solid week (the printer for internal office use works fine)? Mike tells me he's wondering what kind of copier contract the Commission has. Probably the same one my kid's elementary school has: it went down for about a week not too long ago leaving her class without homework.
And here's a thought: why can't MEC scan and email the campaign finance reports as .pdf files when the copier is down?