For Immediate Release
HARRISBURG — Statewide and county political party officers would be subject to greater transparency under legislation introduced by Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-10).
McIlhinney’s legislation would require any individual who holds a statewide or county political party office of chairman, vice chairman, secretary or treasurer to file a Statement of Financial Interests with the state Ethics Commission. The statements must include all direct or indirect sources of income, gifts received, creditors, transportation and lodging expenses, as well as all real estate, financial and transferred business interests.
Elected officials, candidates for public office, political subdivision solicitors, public officials and many state employees are already required to file a Statement of Financial Interests under current law.
“The General Assembly has made significant strides in improving oversight and accountability of the use of tax dollars, but very little has been done to provide transparency of the political system,” McIlhinney said. “A stronger system of checks and balances is needed to ensure these individuals cannot abuse their power as political leaders.”
McIlhinney introduced similar legislation during the previous legislative session, but noted that action on his proposal is even more urgent in light of recent allegations of improper conduct by the Bucks County Republican Party Chairman.
“County and statewide political party officers can wield a tremendous amount of power and influence without the slightest hint of accountability,” McIlhinney said. “Disclosing the financial interests of party leaders is one of the surest ways to prevent them from overstepping their authority.”