Transparency

I support most of the transparency reforms advocated by the Sunlight Foundation for Congress:

  1. I completely support the meaningful lobbyist disclosure the Sunlight Foundation advocates.
  2. I support most of the contemporaneous online filing suggestions.  I file the required FEC reports electronically.  It might not be practical to file personal finance reports electronically (other than a summary) as the reports contain a lot of varied information and the amount of effort to collect it into a database would be substantial.  I think the Sunlight Foundation goal of requiring disclosure of financial matters for members of a legislator's immediate family (beyond the candidate's spouse) is flawed in that the legislator isn't legally entitled to know such information regarding adult children and other relatives (and this might well be constitutionally protected privacy).  I can see a requirement that close relatives of a legislator be required to report PAC involvement on their own.  Requiring other financial disclosure (like employment) for children and relatives strikes me as asking too much.  Especially, in this day and age where unstable individuals stalk celebrities and their families.
  3. I support publicly posting all non-emergency legislation 72 hours before the final vote.  That includes the results of House/Senate conference committees.  That includes disclosure of earmarks if the appropriate mechanisms are set up to do it automatically.
  4. I support making Congressional research publicly available as long as it isn't classified.  If the government paid for it, the people should be able to see it.
  5. I have yet to decide if all communications between candidates and Federal Agencies should be published.  It sounds like a good idea from an openness standpoint; however, it might have the effect of making Federal Agencies completely unresponsive to Congress.