Alabama 47th worst in campaign finance disclosure

Montgomery, AL – Alabamians' access to financial information about campaigns in the state got an "F" in a new national study. The study called "Grading State Disclosure" gave an "F" to 17 states and ranked Alabama 47th among the 50 states. According to the study, Alabama "has significant room to improve."

Only North Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming rated worse than Alabama. Washington ranked first, followed by Illinois and Massachusetts.

During campaigns for Alabama offices, candidates file periodic reports with the secretary of state showing how contributions they have received in excess of 100-dollars and where they have spent the money. Then the secretary of state's office posts those reports on its Web site.

The national study said one of the major weaknesses in Alabama's program is that state law does NOT require candidates to report either the occupation or employer of their contributors. Alabama is one of 14 states that do not require any job-related information.

Secretary of State Nancy Worley, the state's chief election official, was not surprised by the study. She said Alabama does need to upgrade its technology and needs to pass a law allowing candidates to file their campaign finance reports electronically, starting on a voluntary basis.

On the Net: