Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander, Ranking Member, and members of theUnited States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration305 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510April 24, 2012Dear Senators,Thank you for the opportunity to offer these comments in support of S219, the "Senate CampaignDisclosure Parity Act" in conjunction with the Committee's April 25, 2012 hearing. In the spirit of thislegislation, whose simplicity is reflected in its brevity, our comments can be summarized quickly: Thesystem of campaign finance disclosure mandated by this bill offers the kind of operational efficiency andbenefits to transparency that have been demonstrated over many years at many levels of government.It is no longer acceptable for a legislative body at the Federal level to refuse to adopt this simple processfor ensuring the public's right to know.For nearly 30 years the Center for Responsive Politics has been committed to providing the public withthe most comprehensive and reliable information available about how our national politics are financed.One of the clearest successes of the disclosure process has been the conversion to electronic filing of campaign finance information at the Federal Election Commission. In just the last ten days, thousandsof committees representing presidential and House campaigns, national state and local partyorganizations and other political committees have filed reports of their financial activity during the mostrecent month or quarter. These reports, containing nearly $250 million in receipts, were available to thepublic within minutes of their submission.The benefits of this legislation to both the committees submitting their reports and to the publicreceiving the information are clear. The reporting provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act haveconsistently recognized that timely disclosure of campaign receipts and disbursements was a criticalelement in the Act's success. The requirements for pre-election filings, along with quick disclosure of contributions and expenditures close to elections, have been fundamental to the process since the1970s. Throughout this time Congress has modified the process of disclosure in order to take advantageof technological changes that improved the public's access to information. In permitting the use of faxmachines in submitting election-sensitive documents and in mandating electronic filing, Congress'slegislative changes have recognized that modern techniques must be used to make the principle of transparency a reality.