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Letter: Important N.H. Bill on Campaign Finance

To the Editor:

Last Thursday, the New Hampshire Senate passed SB 120 in a bipartisan vote of 19 to 4. If approved by the House, this bill will effectively require that all the largest special-interest groups report their expenditures for all to see. Finally, New Hampshire residents will have the right to know how much money special-interest groups spend to buy our elections. This bill was passed because of the work of Sen. Jeb Bradley, its sponsor, and with the collaboration of Sen. Bob Odell and Sen. David Pierce of Hanover. I want to thank them and the 16 other senators who joined them.

Some important points about this bill: 1) It will let voters know who is spending money in New Hampshire elections; 2) having every dollar spent on elections out in the open and publicly reported will increase public confidence and trust in our government; 3) current state law has a loophole that allows outside interests to spend millions of dollars on influencing elections without reporting that spending; and 4) currently only candidates and political parties must report all of their receipts and expenditures. SB 120 will require outside special interests to do the same.

Now the challenge goes to the New Hampshire House to pass this bill. Please let your representatives know you demand action.

Elizabeth A. Trought