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Idaho Dems push for financial disclosure

Idaho House Democrats have released their personal financial information to demonstrate their commitment to campaign finance reform.

The Caucus voted unanimously to disclose the information after the House State Affairs Committee voted to kill the Financial Disclosure Bill. The bill was sponsored by republican Committee Chair, Representative Tom Loertscher of Iona. The bill was only supported by the two democrats on the committee, Elaine Smith of Pocatello and Paulette Jordan of Plummer. The bill is unanimously supported by the Campaign Finance Working Group, which is looking at reforms to Idaho’s Sunshine Law.

The legislation would have required candidates for state, legislative, county and city office to file annual reports identifying their primary employer and occupation or job title; all entities they own or for which they are an officer; every entity that has paid them $5,000 or more in income in the past year; each entity in which they own stocks or bonds (not mutual funds) valued at more than $5,000; any boards on which they serve; and their spouse’s name, occupation and employer.

“To me, a ‘yes’ vote was a no-brainer,” said Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello. “Idaho voters deserve transparency and disclosing financial information is the only way for a voter to know where a legislator has potential conflicts of interest on particular issues and votes.”

House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, of Boise, called the vote more than symbolic. “Hardworking Idaho families have a right to know of conflicts of interest,” said Erpelding. “Transparency is one of the best ways to guarantee that our state government focuses on the right priorities to create a brighter future for all Idahoans. After all, the votes we take today directly affect tomorrow’s opportunities for our kids and grandkids.”

You can view the House Democrats’ financial disclosures here.

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