The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

March 29, 2014

Actions speak louder than Kirk's, Durbin's words

Illinois’ two U.S. senators, Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, claim they’re all for electronic filing of campaign finance reports — but unfortunately not enough to actually do it.

House members file their campaign finance disclosures online, which gives the public quick access to the information. But senators keep short-circuiting measures that would require such timely reporting by them. Instead they file paper reports that later are converted for the Internet. It’s an inefficient, costly system that means the public waits days or weeks to see information about campaign finance, possibly until after an election. Taxpayers pay about $430,000 a year to a private company to key in the data and eventually get it online.

Here’s a statement from a Durbin spokesman about electronic filing: “We’d love to be able to file our reports electronically. ... There is a bill pending before the Senate that would require the Office of Public Records to accept electronic filings and Senator Durbin supports the measure.”

And from a Kirk spokeswoman: “The senator is supportive of electronic campaign disclosure filing, and if a bill is brought to the floor requiring all future filings to be done electronically, he would support it.”

Great, but how about backing up those words with action? The spokesmen never explained why their bosses don’t file electronically now in addition to paper filing — something nearly 20 senators already do.

That would show their seriousness about the issue and put pressure on their colleagues to approve the change.

Sen. Claire McCaskill from Missouri, one of the voluntary filers, sets the right tone: “As I support legislation requiring electronic filing, I believe that I should voluntarily hold myself to that same high standard until we’re able to get that bill across the finish line.”

This week, contact Durbin and Kirk and ask them to push for a Senate vote on mandatory electronic filing — and call on them to file electronically voluntarily in the meantime.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook