It’s not often you see Common Cause Rhode Island‘s John Marion sharing a podium with Governor Chafee, House Speaker Fox and Senate President Paiva Weed.
But that’s what happened Thursday afternoon as they and others gathered at the State House to throw their support behind new legislation that would beef up campaign-finance disclosure rules for outside groups like the much-talked-about Super PACs. (Paiva Weed even mentioned Stephen Colbert’s.) They want the requirements in place before the November election.
After the event, Marion sat down with me to explain what the proposed Transparency in Political Spending Act would and wouldn’t do. The transcript has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Who is this bill going to impact? What will they have to do?
This bill is going to impact any group that decides to advocate for or against one of the items on the November ballot, such as the referendum about expanding gaming in the state. It will require those groups to disclose information about their spending in a more timely fashion then they current have to, and it will require for the first time disclosure of the underlying sources of funding to the group.