CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS ON ‘NET/ SITE MAKES INFO CHEAPER, MORE ACCESSIBLE

Wilkes-Barre, Times-Leader

By JENNIFER LEARN-ANDES

Tuesday, December 16, 2008     Page: 5A

WILKES-BARRE – All 2008 Luzerne County campaign finance reports have been posted on the county government Web site, Election Bureau Director Leonard Piazza announced Monday.

That means the public now has instant access to 802 campaign finance reports from 77 committees dating back to 2004, Piazza said.

Before this service, the public had to visit the office during regular daytime business hours to view the records, paying 25 cents per page for copies.

Annual campaign finance reports must be filed by Feb. 2, and Piazza said he plans to post them on the site as they are received.

The reports may be viewed at http://www.luzernecounty.org. Click on “departments and agencies,” the Bureau of Elections and then the campaign finance section.

Piazza has also posted the 2009 campaign finance filing schedule, the finance reporting law and a master list of all campaign finance committees, including a list of committees that have closed out, or terminated.

The office started posting campaign finance reports online at the start of 2008.

“It’s pretty popular. We really don’t get many people coming into the office anymore to look at the reports,” Piazza said.

The reports cover all local and county candidates. The site contains a link to the state’s campaign finance report database, allowing the public to view reports for state candidates, including county judges.

Piazza said he is planning classes on campaign finance reporting requirements in January, and he urges interested candidates to contact him now at elections@luzernecounty.org.

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