Two key legislators say once the 2010 campaign season is history, they’d both support an effort to get candidates for state offices to more quickly disclose their donors to the public. House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha suggests it wouldn’t be too difficult to implement.
“Especially since almost all of us report electronically now,” Paulsen says. Candidates for the Iowa legislature and for statewide offices regularly file disclosure reports with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. But how regularly those reports are made is the issue.
This past week candidates filed documents showing their fundraising for the past three months. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says he’d like to require independent groups who are running ads to influence state campaigns report their donors.
“I think if you’re running ads that mention candidates by name, there ought to be disclosure,” Gronstal says. “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are free to engage in this type of activity. That’s fine. We ought to at least know if it’s ‘big oil’ paying for the Republican ads. We ought to at least know if it’s ‘big tobacco’ paying for the Democratic ads. We ought to disclose who the contributors are for these organizations.”
Gronstal and Paulsen made their comments this morning during taping of the Iowa Public Television program “Iowa Press” which airs tonight at 7:30.