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and enough information to permit further inquiry. Listing a post office box number in San Antonio as the address of a treasurer named John Smith is not disclosure, but that is all it takes to comply fully with the law. Identifying a law firm’s PAC as the San Jacinto Fund is not disclosure, but that is all the lawyers from my own firm have had to reveal. If disclosure is to mean anything, the Legislature should amend the election code to require that a PAC: identify itself by occupational category \(e.g., lawyers, physicians, employees of address, and the telephone number of its treasurer. The disclosure law’s treatment of candidates is inconsistent and confusing, yet in many instances unaccountably lax. Here are some specific problems and suggested solutions. The campaign reporting obligations of candidates now vary according to whether or not they have competition when they run for office. .If unopposed, a candidate has no duty to make pre-election reports of contributions and expenditures, even though unopposed candidates in Texas do take in campaign funds and spend them \(Obs., who draws an opponent must file such reports at specified intervals. This distinction is without justification, and the Legislature should simply eliminate it. Current law also allows candidates to wait until 30 days after an election to reveal contributions and expenditures made during the last nine days of the campaign. \(Prior reports will the polls without knowing that a candidate has received large contributions in the final stage of the campaign. While it would be impossible to report every penny received at the last minute by election eve, there is a practical and fair alternative: on the day before an election, each candidate and each campaign committee working in the candidate’s behalf should report by telegram all contributions of $500 or more that come in between the tenth day before election and the second day before. This would give voters timely information without undue hardship to candidates, and there would be no room to blame the mails for tardy filing. Statewide candidates, candidates from multi-county districts, and incumbents currently have to file their campaign finance statements in just one placethe office of the secretary of state in Austin. To be sure, the press in some major metropolitan areas does a good job of reporting this information to the candidate’s constituency. But outside of those areas a voter’s only recourse may be to pay for the photocopying and mailing of the reports or to foot the bill for a special trip to Austin. To ensure voter access, another copy of those reports should have to be filed at the county clerk’s office in the county where the candidate resides. Candidates and their election committees do not now have to identify any guarantors of loans they receive to pay for their campaigns. They should be obliged to. The general rule is that candidates in contested races must file reports 30 days before, seven days before, and 30 days after the election. But an exception is made for primary election winners who face opposition in the general electionthey get to skip the report ordinarily due 30 days after the May primary or run-off, and do not have to file again until the following October, 30 days before the general election. I can find no logical basis for this double standard. The exception should be dropped. Another double standard requires an officeholder who designates a campaign treasurer to report all previously unreported campaign finance activity 15 days after making the designation. This means that the report may cover just a few daysfor port for all of 1979 and then designates a campaign treasurer on Held to account By Eric Hartman Austin A former aide to one of the worthier figures in Texas politics confided to the Observer recently that part of his job during last year’s election season was to make his boss’s campaign finance disclosure statements as confusing as possible. His candor was surprising, but the substance of what he said was not: making a mockery of disclosure, never a difficult task under the state laws that only erratically regulate the reporting of contributions and expenditures, has become one of the accepted arts of Texas electioneering and officeholding, and even some of the good guys would feel like fools if they refrained from doing it. The masters of this art of nondisclosure in 1978 were the people who put together ex-governor Dolph Briscoe’s campaign fundraising system. Briscoe’s final report of receipts and expenses for last year states that he received and spent precisely nothinga neat trick for a candidate who pumped millions of dollars into his re-election effort. Yet the report complies fully with the law, because Briscoe never actually touched the campaign money himself; instead, it was handled by a network of 60 committees acting in his behalf, all of them reporting separately to the secretary of state. All Briscoe had to disclose in his personal statement was the names of the committees \(such as MARCH 2, 1979 Architects for Briscoe, Amigos del Gobernador Briscoe, and It is possible, if you have the time and the appetite for tedium, to inspect these 60 reports and reach a rough estimate of how much Dolph’s campaign took in and paid out. But once you have added up the millions of dollars channeled through big operations like the statewide Briscoe Committee, the going gets slipperyone committee lists a contribution from another that never reports having made the contribution, committees appear to go out of existence without accounting for left-over funds, and so on. The system is .a mess, just as it was meant to be, and your guess as to whether the law has b6en violated or merely exploited in particular cases is as good as the secretary of state’s. Reports submitted by then-Rep. Jim Nugent of Kerrville illustrate another creative approach to disclosure, combining disconnected reporting with delay. Though Nugent ran for reelection without opposition, his friends held a “Tribute to Jim Nugent” fundraiser last July, and the honoree refused to provide even an estimate of the total take when we asked him about it afterward \(Obs., discriminates in favor of unopposed candidates, the Kerrville representative didn’t have to report anything until his annual officeholder statement came due in January. That document