Senate might accept compromise on campaign finance bill, Thayer says

02/02/2011 08:42 AM

The Senate might agree to a campaign finance reform bill with the House even if that chamber’s Democratic majority won’t agree to moving the primary and filing deadline days, said Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown.

A major piece of the campaign finance bill would be to move the candidate filing deadline from the last Tuesday in January to April and bump the primary election from May to August.

“This is the ultimate approach to legislative accountability” because the General Assembly would be finished by the filing deadline so prospective candidates could decide to challenge incumbents based on their votes on bills, Thayer said.

That concept has drawn a chilly reception from House Democrats. But there could be room for compromise on the campaign finance pieces of the bill.

Like legislation Thayer has proposed in the past, this year’s election bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Jared Carpenter of Richmond would require statewide candidates to file electronic campaign fundraising reports with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. That would speed up the reports going online for the public to view.

The legislation also calls for adding another campaign finance reporting deadline before general elections.

“I think it’s also very important to add more filing and reporting periods for our campaign finance reports so the citizens have more opportunity to look and see where candidates are getting their campaign donations from,” he said. “So if the House has a problem with moving the primary and moving the filing deadline but is willing to support the other components, I think they should go ahead and amend the bill and send it back, and I certainly believe it will receive strong consideration in the Senate.”

The Senate approved the elections bill in the first week of January. Thayer also answered questions about a proposed constitutional amendment he co-sponsored. Here’s the interview:

- Ryan Alessi


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