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'I will be one of the first to put my FEC reports online,' Gillibrand says

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 6 2011

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at Personal Democracy Forum 2011. Photo: Esty Stein / Personal Democracy Forum

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will publish her Federal Election Commission campaign finance disclosures online, in electronic format, she announced today at Personal Democracy Forum 2011 in New York City.

Senate campaign finance disclosures are already available online — but they are basically scanned copies of paper reports. Last year, the FEC put its staffers to work digitizing Senate disbursement reports — by hand. But there is no mandatory electronic filing requirement for members of the Senate, a state of affairs that Gillibrand, with Sen. John Tester and others, is now working to change.

"I'm doing it voluntarily. I will be one of the first to put my FEC reports online myself," Gillibrand told the crowd at PdF, held at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

Gillibrand also announced her support for the Public Online Information Act — legislation that PdF co-founders Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry have championed, and that grew out of conversations at PdF 2009, which requires public records to be online before they can be considered public; expansion of broadband Internet access into rural America; and cybersecurity initiatives.

All Americans should be able to access public documents on their computers or smartphones, Gillibrand said.New York's junior senator earned praise from the Sunlight Foundation's Ellen Miller* for voluntary disclosures she makes already, including her schedule of official meetings, voting record, and federal funding requests. She also posts her personal financial disclosure forms online, as Portable Document Format files.

* PdF co-founders Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry are senior advisors to the Sunlight Foundation.

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