By Mark Lisheron | Texas Watchdog
AUSTIN — ‘Bout time, Bexar County.
Beginning with the Jan. 15, 2013, filings, taxpayers in San Antonio and the rest of the county will be able to use their computers to review campaign finance reports required by law for every one of their elected officials and candidates for office, the San Antonio Express News reports.
This leaves Tarrant County alone among the state’s five most populous counties in not providing comprehensive campaign information available online. Harris County, Dallas County, and Travis County have their own search engines.
Tarrant County continues to invite you to visit their County Elections Center in downtown Fort Worth.
Taxpayers statewide can search for campaign finance and lobbying reporting for officials and operatives at the state level at the Texas Ethics Commission site.
When completed, the Bexar County Elections Department system will provide the latest campaign finance report filings and begin scanning in all past filings, Elections Administrator Jacquelyn Callanen told the Express News.
At first, the reports will simply be scanned into the system and more reports added. A searchable database will be created, although Callanen wasn’t sure how long that might take.
This online disclosure was brought to you by the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court, which voted Tuesday night to create the online reporting system. A similar effort in 2008 was undermined and defeated by quiet opposition from several elected officials.
Contact Mark Lisheron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-299-2318.