Enhancements to a state of California website that allows residents to track political campaign contributions was lauded by fair-election group Common Cause.
Following Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s unveiling of enhancements by the nonprofit MapLight to the Cal-Access campaign finance disclosure website, Gavin Baker, open government program manager with California Common Cause, made the following statement:
“The Cal-Access enhancements announced today by Secretary Padilla will give voters, journalists, and watchdogs a better tool to understand the influence of money in politics. We congratulate the secretary on this initiative.
But California still has more to do to provide the public with easy and meaningful access to information about our democracy. We urge the Secretary of State and the Fair Political Practices Commission to make additional improvements, moving toward a system that comprehensively links the activities of major donors and lobbyists.
This should be the beginning, not the end, of the conversation about how to help voters make more informed choices.
The Secretary of State’s open-source collaboration with MapLight is a refreshing alternative to the procurement boondoggles that afflict many government technology projects. We hope this example will inspire agencies throughout California to explore more innovative approaches to deliver greater transparency.
Editor’s Note: Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.