Introduced by Rep Seliger, a Republican, SB 346 is a good defense against the corrupt play for pay slates system in place, such as that in Harris County.
SB 346 would end the reporting loop hole for certain tax exempt groups that are politically active but are not filing financial reports thus hiding their donor lists. This bill, if passed, would require groups – like the “pay to play slates”- that enjoy donor anonymity to fully disclose from whence their funding comes.
This bill has a very interesting history. It passed easily out of Senate State Affairs committee. It then went to the Senate floor where it passed 25-4 and was then sent over to the House. The next day these lobbyists caught on to the bill’s passage and pressured Senators claiming there would be “unintended consequences” to the bill, meaning they would have to disclose which candidates paid for their endorsements and other political lobbying activities.These guys hate the bill so much that, the next day, they convinced the Senate to hold a recall vote on the bill. Recall votes are a maneuver usually reserved for bills with technical difficulties.
By this time, the bill was already in committee in the House, where it was passed out exactly as it was presented. Sources in the know report that the bill will pass the House but the rumor is that if it survives conference committee, the Governor will veto the bill. Failure to pass this bill will be a slap in the face and a clear sign that the Governor and the Senate believe that we don’t deserve to be fully informed voters.
Please, contact your Representatives, your Senator and the Governor’s office IMMEDIATELY and demand the passage of SB 346 into law. Support the members of the House who showed political courage and did the right thing.