Make campaign finance transparent | Editorials

Alabama lawmakers have made lackluster efforts through the years to change the laws regulating how political campaigns are financed. Touted as “campaign finance reform,” they’ve done little to make the process of campaign financing transparent.

In the heat of a campaign, greater transparency would help voters make more informed decisions about the candidates lobbying for their support at the ballot box. While the mandate for regular campaign finance disclosure reports helps, those reports do little more than reveal the names and amounts from individuals. The real money comes from political action committees, and it’s difficult to parse the actual source of the millions of dollars that moves to candidates’ coffers through these organizations before an election is finished and the information is far less useful.

It’s simply wrong to allow millions of dollars in campaign funds to flow to candidates shielded by PACs meticulously crafted to make the provenance of influential contributions difficult to discern.

Alabama lawmakers should make a priority of unraveling the protective cloak allowed by campaign finance laws so that voters can determine the true source of money bankrolling high-dollar political campaigns.

Daylight is the best disinfectant.