A Nebraska watchdog group says too much money is changing hands during the legislative session and it wants the practice to stop.
Many Nebraska legislators routinely raise campaign cash during the legislative session, according to the latest report issues by Common Cause Nebraska.
Common Cause spokesman Jack Gould says a state senator can raise as much as $7,000 during an in-session fundraiser. He says Nebraska can take steps to prevent what could be perceived as buying influence.
“The biggest step and the most difficult one to take is to just say no campaign funds during legislative sessions,” Gould tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Common Cause says 29 states have such laws and Nebraska should become the 30th.
Gould says Common Cause has tried three times to push such legislation. It has never gotten out of committee.
“We keep trying, but it’s going to take, I think, the public to step up and say, ‘Hey, this is wrong and we’re not going to do it anymore.’”
If the practice isn’t to be ended, it could at least by adjusted, Gould says.
Nebraska law allows donors to contribute up to $250 without disclosing their names or the amount given. It is reported simply as cash contributions.
Gould says that threshold should be lowered to provide better disclosure about who is giving to whom and how much.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]