June 17, 1997 6:45 PM PDT
Campaign data drive accelerates
The report disclosed that representatives from more than 12 states will meet in Chicago next month to discuss how states can work together to speed the effort.
"We hope that the Chicago conference will mark the beginning of a long-term, collaborative effort," Bob Watada, director of Hawaii's Campaign Spending Commission, said in the report. Every state is facing the same issues and questions as we move toward online disclosure, [and] the Chicago conference will give us a chance to compare systems and learn from each other's experiences.
The efforts to put campaign spending data online has been met with resistance by many politicians but is gaining momentum with a strong grass-roots effort. One example is the "progress report" released today by the California Voter Foundation.
It surveyed seven states (California, Illinois, Indiana, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia) to see how they were moving away from a paper-based filing system. Among the examples:
Despite the progress, hurdles remain. "Technical issues still need to be worked out to ensure that agencies can authenticate digital records and to ensure that online data is secure from tampering," the report says. "And while many legislatures have authorized the development of digital disclosure systems, some, like Illinois, have not provided filing agencies with any funding to complete the job."