Andrew Stengel at the Brennan Center is inviting state lawmakers to send him their unredacted financial disclosure forms. The forms are supposed to let the public see for themselves if there is anything improper in a lawmaker’s personal finances that may affect them in their public capacity.
The request is motivated by two facts:
The first is that the financial disclosure forms lawmakers file with the state are often so heavily redacted before they’re made public that, for the purposes of transparency, they’re essentially useless. (Anthony Seminerio, for example, was filling his forms out properly right up until he was indicted for soliciting money from a hospital seeking state aid.)
The other fact is that the whiting-out practice has become nearly universal. Of the 212 state lawmakers, only Assemblyman Micah Kellner has filed an unredacted form with state officials.
One down, 211 to go.