"disclosure increases the quality of information reaching the body politic and furthers the first amendment goal of producing an informed public capable of conducting its own affairs."
"informed public opinion is the most potent of all restraints upon mis-government."
"Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."
U.S. Supreme Court
This Directory has been prepared as a guidebook to locate and identify organizations and individuals at the state and national level who have a responsibility to disclose information on money in politics.
The term "money in politics" has been given a broad definition to include federal and state campaign finance reports, lobby reports, personal financial statements, public financing, state initiative/referendum spending, and a wide range of other financial filings.
The offices listed are those which have the primary responsibility to disclose the information. These include federal agencies, Secretaries of State, state commissions, boards and election offices. In some states, one office handles all the disclosure whereas in others, as many as four different offices handle disclosure. There may also be an additional office, such as the Office of the Attorney General, which has responsibility for issuing advisory opinions or enforcement actions. This type of office has been included since it may be involved in other court actions.
The individuals identified are those who supervise or control the records offices. In addition, other names have been listed when the Federal Election Commission staff has had regular contact with them and/or the state office has wished to list them. These persons may be involved with identification of candidates for the ballot, election results, voting accessibility, informational seminars or other communications. Not all staff members have been listed, but an attempt has been made to include those knowledgeable in the targeted subject areas.
The address and phone number of each office has been listed so that one may quickly contact the proper office. Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) have been included for those offices that maintain a site accessible through the Internet. E-mail addresses for informational requests (rather than for the submission of filings) are listed for those offices that have chosen to include them.
It is hoped the Directory will facilitate communication among disclosure officials across the country. While they work in various offices, they share common concerns: records storage and retrieval; computerization and utilization of other new disclosure technologies; guidance to regulated candidates and committees; assistance to the media and the general public; education of the electorate on the role of money in politics; and, recruitment of public-oriented staff.
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