Primary Candidates Flout Financial Disclosure Requirement
Information is the lifeblood of democracy, so it’s disappointing in the extreme to discover that more than one-third of the 304 candidates on this week’s congressional primary ballots in eight states ignored financial disclosure requirements set by federal law or filed their disclosure forms too late for voters to review ahead of Primary Day.
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that 116 candidates missed the May 15 filing deadline; the delinquents included 46 incumbent officeholders, who thanks to their experience should be particularly aware of the filing requirement. That group includes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 76 other candidates – Democrat and Republican alike – in California, where this week’s primaries were especially charged.
Twenty-three of the 116 late- or non-filers stayed within the law by exercising their option to request an extension of the filing deadline but in doing so deprived primary voters of important information. Those who filed neither their forms or an extension request face a $200 fine.
The disclosure forms ask candidates to reveal their sources of income, assets, and liabilities. The rationale for disclosure is that financial information about candidates and officeholders helps voters make choices at the ballot box and keep tabs after the election on whether elected officials are shaping and voting on legislation to further their personal interest rather than the public interest.
“(The reports) are significant for assessing potential conflicts,” Adav Noti, chief of staff at the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, told OpenSecrets.org, the center’s website. “It allows a voter to assess whether candidates are taking positions that are in the voters’ interest or in the candidate’s interest.”
You’ll find the full list of non- and late-filers at the end of this post, listed in alphabetical order by state. If one of those is a candidate in your congressional district, you might want to make a special point to ask him/her about it during the fall campaign and check his/her disclosure before the November election.
|Kennedy, Robert Jr||AL01||W|
|Williams, Audri Scott||AL02||L|
|Rogers, Mike D||AL03||W|
|Aderholt, Robert B||AL04||W|
|Sewell, Terri A||AL07||W|
|Matsui, Doris O||CA06||W|
|Leggett, Suzi Park||CA39||L|
|Davis, Susan A||CA53||W|
|Bhumitra, Arun K||CAS2||L|
|De La Fuente, Rocky||CAS2||L|
|King, Steven A||IA04||W|
|Thompson, Bennie G||MS02||W|
|Rose, E Brian||MS04||L|
|Tomaszewski, Scot John||NJ01||L|
|Pallone, Frank Jr||NJ06||W|
|Pascrell, Bill Jr||NJ09||W|
|Sedillo Lopez, Antoinette||NM01||L|