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Birmingham News editorial on (state) campaign finance

The Birmingham News editorializes today with these suggestions, among others, for more accountablity in state government:

End transfers between political action committees. Alabama has strong laws about reporting campaign contributions and spending. The problem is that PACs can transfer money between themselves over and over again, with no limits, meaning contributions are thoroughly laundered before getting to a candidate. Voters deserve to know which special interests own which lawmakers. Ending PAC-to-PAC transfers will help voters know that.

Lobbyists must be prohibited from giving anything of value to lawmakers. Currently, a lobbyist can spend up to $249.99 a day on lawmakers for entertainment, meals and drinks, and never have to report the spending to the public. Lawmakers are paid a fair wage for their public service, and they receive daily expenses for meals and hotels while they're in Montgomery.

Groups such as the Christian Coalition of Alabama that ask for donations to oppose initiatives like tax reform must be compelled to release their donors. Who, exactly, pays the Christian Coalition's bills? Voters deserve to know.