Contrary to Wendy Davis’s statement, disclosing her small contributors would not increase her burden

NLF principal attorney Jerad Najvar was consulted by David Rauf of the Express-News for this story today, which also ran in the Houston Chronicle.

As I say, I’m not one to call for any more burdensome disclosure requirements than are already in place. There is a good reason small-dollar contributions are not required to be itemized. For small groups, it can be extremely burdensome.  But in a large campaign such as this, when those contributions accumulate to millions, it presents a materially different question, and one relevant aspect that is relevant to voters is the geographical distribution of the contributors. How many Davis contributors are from outside Texas? We don’t know.

Davis states in the article: “In order to create a report that would include all of that, it would require a massive amount of work, which is why that rule exists in the first place. So we’re pleased to be following the law and again, very, very pleased to be supported by the number of people who are supporting us.”

Contrary to Davis’s statement, disclosing the names and city/state for all of her small-dollar contributors would not increase any burden. All of that information is already required to be recorded by the campaign (anonymous contributions may not be accepted under Texas rules), so it’s already in their records. And the great bulk of these contributors are likely giving online, which means all the relevant information is already in electronic form, and in fact can be immediately exported to a spreadsheet from whatever online platform Davis is using. With a few clicks, it’s all in Excel, and there’s nothing preventing Davis from producing this list of contributors, which the public could then sort by state to reveal some very interesting information.