June 7, 2011

Transparency Review (6/6-6/10)

  • The third legislative session's the charm for Secretary of State Ross Miller. After falling in two previous Legislative sessions, his campaign finance reform bills have finally passed both chambers and reached the Governor's desk. Miller's bills, AB81, AB82, and AB452, address a variety of campaign transparency issues ranging from requiring candidates to file electronic expense reports to reforming PAC donations. One aspect of the bills that didn't reach the Governor's desk was the one-year "cooling-off" period for elected officials transitioning into lobbying.

  • Over 130 bills await the Governor's signature as a result of the final days of session, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. A few of the transparency-related bills include SB125, requiring candidates to file their campaign contributions reports twenty-one days prior to primary elections to benefit early voters, AB242, requiring organizations receiving money from the Department of Health and Human Services to make financial reports public, and AB337, revising campaign violations notices.

  • On the national level, Senator Kristen Gillibrand, D., N.Y., reintroduced two transparency-related bills in the Senate. The Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act would require senators to file campaign expense reports electronically. A similar bill was introduced in 2003 but was shot down, ironically, by former Senator John Ensign, R., NV. Her second bill, the Public Online Information Act, would require all public documents to be made available and machine-searchable online.

  • NPRI intern Alexander Cooper explains how the Clark County School Board's redistricting plan dilutes Latino voters despite Latino students making up 41 percent of the district's population.