Senator Harry Reid 522 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Senator Mitch McConnell 317 Russell

Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Senator Joseph Lieberman 706 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Senator Susan Collins 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 By electronic and hand delivery February 7, 2012 Dear Senators Reid, McConnell, Lieberman and Collins Last week, the Senate passed the STOCK Act by an overwhelming majority. The Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan organization devoted to using the power of the Internet to increase government transparency, strongly supports the bill, which will go far to address possible insider trading by Members of Congress. Unfortunately, we are left questioning why you failed to allow a vote on a simple amendment that would have also vastly improved the public perception of Congress. As leaders of the Senate and managers of the bill, you failed to require a vote on an amendment that would have required Senators and Senate candidates to electronically file their campaign finance reports. You allowed at least 18 amendments to be voted on or agreed to. Some, while perhaps important, were only tangentially related to the bill’s mission of restoring credibility to Congress. Votes were allowed to prohibit bonuses to executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to prevent the creation of overlapping Federal programs, and to extend the bill’s requirements to executive branch agencies. Yet when it came to ensuring immediate public access to senate campaign finance information, none of you took the initiative to insist on a vote. Presidential candidates as well as your counterparts in the House have electronically

filed their campaign finance reports for many years. The simple amendment offered by Senators Tester and Cochran would have ensured that Senators could likewise avail themselves to the ease of electronic filing, which would speed public disclosure to the information contained in campaign finance reports while decreasing the possibility for errors, and saving taxpayers a quarter of a million dollars annually. Each of you has voiced support for transparency in some capacity. In the past, the electronic filing measure, which has always had significant bipartisan support, has been held up by Republican demands that a vote on it be linked with a vote on an unrelated controversial amendment, which, if enacted, would lead to fewer legitimate inquiries into Senators’ ethical conduct. But with so many amendments to the STOCK Act, the question remains why none of you recognized the importance and simplicity of this amendment and insisted that it be included, along with so many others, of amendments deserving a straight up or down vote. We look forward to the rationale behind blocking this amendment, and hope the next time the Senate electronic filing measure is raised in the Senate it gets a clean up or down vote. We feel confident that it would pass overwhelmingly, finally bringing campaign finance reporting in the Senate into the 21 st Century. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact Lisa Rosenberg at or 202-360-7895.


Ellen S. Miller Co-founder and Executive Director The Sunlight Foundation

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