The Fair Political Practices Commission is proposing new disclosure laws for travel expenses for legislators, which are obviously in response to revelations about Fabian Nuñez’ lavish globetrotting. The regulations would require public proof that all activities had a legitimate government purpose, before the fact rather than after it comes out in the media.
Under a proposal made Monday by the state’s ethics watchdog, detailed public disclosure of who benefited from such spending would be required of state officeholders, if given final approval next month. In addition, certain nonprofit groups involved in political campaigns would be forced to reveal their donors under a separate proposal by the Fair Political Practices Commission […]
Under the new proposal, politicians and candidates would have to publicly list the gift recipients by name and the nature of the gift. They also would have to provide the dates of meals, the number of people at a meal and whether the diners included the politician’s family or staff.
For out-of-state travel, politicians would have to disclose the dates and destination of travel and whether expenditures covered family and staff.
In all of these categories, the reports “shall state facts sufficient to demonstrate the political, legislative, or governmental purpose of the expenditure.”
The rule also would require campaign account treasurers to make available to the commission, but not necessarily to the public, the names of all people who benefited from travel and meal expenditures.
The proposal was met favorably by the Nuñez camp as a way to improve accountability and increase sunshine. I can’t see anyone, even the non-profits, finding this disagreeable unless they want to closely guard their own personal secrets. This is a common-sense measure to ensure taxpayers that their good name – and their money – is being used legitimately and to the benefit of the state.