Transparency is the word that often floats around when people discuss their issues with government. Another concern of the people: where politicians receive and spend their money.
In an effort to address these concerns, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has hosted an online database of campaign finance information– as your lawmakers work to bring reform to how politicians spend their campaign dollars.
The 2017 Campaign Finance Annual Report, the first of its kind in state history to be displayed in a searchable database online, had its first big deadline in January.
While the system is currently voluntary, 25 candidates posted their campaign information online:
- Friends of Delbert Hosemann
- Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith
- Friends of Timmy Ladner Campaign
- Richard Bennett
- Friends of Kevin Blackwell
- Friends of Joel Bomgar
- House of Representatives – District 12 (Jay Hughes)
- Chris Johnson
- Vince Mangold
- Randy K. Rushing
- John A. Polk
- Bill Stone
- Brad Touchstone
- Friends for Cory Wilson
- America First Party of Mississippi
- Acadia State PAC
- ActBlue Mississippi
- BankPlus PAC for Responsible Government
- BancorpSouth Bank PAC
- Daniel Reese Wise, Jr.
- Lafayette-Oxford-University PAC
- Lenders Political Action Committee (LEN/PAC)
- Mississippi Power State PAC
- Friends of MSMS
- Friends of Rickey Cole
While the system is voluntary at the moment, Secretary Hosemann is calling for use of the system to be required.
“The more filers we can move to the new system, the more useful the database will be in helping the public understand how candidates are receiving and spending funds,” Secretary Hosemann said. “I am optimistic that the number of users will continue to increase every deadline.”
Currently, more than seventy users are now registered in the new system, indicating more may be gearing up to use it in the future.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann launched the new system in September 2016 in an effort to provide a more efficient method of reporting required information and to ensure more transparency in the public’s ability to search through reported information.
The new system allows filers to download templates, input monetary information, and then upload all information required before deadline days, or manually enter expenditures and contributions online over time. The completed report can then be electronically filed. More importantly, however, the website allows reports to be searched by candidate, committee name, office, expenditure, and contribution.
To search online filings, visit http://cfportal.sos.ms.gov/online/portal/cf/page/cf-search/Portal.aspx#clear=1. Traditional paper reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office remain available to the public in PDF format at the same web address.