Friday, February 05, 2010

Website publishes Metro Council members campaign finance reports

Having made several trips to the Election Commission to track the finances of Metro Council members, I can say that it is neither easy nor convenient. It reminds me of intensive library research limited to hard copies in the stacks. The Election Commission provides no online database containing council campaign finance records. That makes no sense, and it weights the system against an informed electorate. Most of us can't take off work to trek down to the commission and dig through official papers, unless our work is journalism (journos already have sketchy ties to politicos). We should be able to click a link and pull up a .pdf form showing a Metro Council member's donation sources.

Mike Peden is putting forth laudable effort to publicize the big money flows to sitting council members by scanning finance records and putting them on a website:
[2013 editor's note: Mr. Peden has taken down finance records from this website]

Thanks to Mike for taking his own personal time to track this information. Here's hoping that the Election Commission might enter the 21st Century at some point soon and utilize their paid staff to make public records online-accessible to the public.