Kansas Representative introduces anti-netroots campaign finance reform bill

Remember Sean Tevis, the Kansas geek who financed his run for the state House of Reps by asking 3,000 net-people to send him $8.34 each -- and who won lost (from Rikchik in the comments, "Correction - Tevis didn't win, though he came close. The guy introducing the bill is the incumbent who beat him.") the election after raising a staggering sum of money in a short time? Well, his "colleagues" in the Kansas House of Reps aren't impressed.

Representative Scott Schwab (R-Olathe) has introduced a bill to require politicians to gather and disclose the personal information of small (less than $50) donors, if that politician raises more than $1,000. This is basically the Sean Tevis Campaign Finance Bill, and it will only affect politicians who raise their funds through distributed, grassroots campaigns. As Tevis points out. the main reason for campaign finance disclosure rules is to track money's influence in politics: "You give $1 to a candidate. It’s a pretty safe bet that they won’t feel indebted to you. If you give them $100, they might. You give a candidate $1,000 they will probably drop everything to take your call." Do Kansans have to worry that net-people who paypalled $8.34 to Tevis will lean on him for government pork?


The $1,000 threshold creates an unequal protection of privacy.

If you donate $1 to a candidate, you can expect that your personal information will remain private. If that candidate, however, crosses the arbitrary $1,000 threshold, which is beyond your control, then suddenly your reasonable expectation of privacy that other small donors enjoy is stripped from you.

For example:
• John gives $1 to Candidate A
• Mary gives $1 to Candidate B
• Candidate A *does not* raise more than $1,000 in small donations.
• Candidate B becomes very popular and she raises more than $1,000 in small donations.

The effect of this is that:
John’s personal information is safe.
Mary’s personal information is not safe.

My Response to House Bill No. 2244 aka the “Sean Tevis Bill” (via A Whole Lotta Nothing)