Nebraska Bill Would Increase Election Spending Accountability

NebraskaThe Nebraska legislature gave unanimous first-round approval in late March to LB606, a measure  to close a loophole in state campaign funding regulation which currently allows organizations like Americans for Prosperity (AFP) to spend unlimited funds to influence state politics without filing finance reports with the state Accountability and Disclosure Commission, as long as they can claim that they don’t specifically advocate voting for or against a candidate. AFP “spent tens of thousands of dollars in the 2010 Nebraska elections,” but doesn't file finance reports with the state, arguing that its efforts represented "educational’ efforts” -- everything but specifically advocating voting one way or another. AFP also claimed the exemption because they’re registered as a corporation in Nebraska, not a campaign committee or political action group. The proposal by Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln, NE “would require AFP and any similar outfits to report their campaign spending to the Nebraska Secretary of State so that everyone would be able to know who’s spending money to influence the election -- regardless of whether they urge specific support or opposition for a candidate.”