July 23, 2019 In the News

AP: Senate candidate Kelly says he’d release schedule details


https://apnews.com/0cf3d9cd12b545f09d44e16fde7793e8

Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly said Tuesday that he’ll join a handful of senators who publicly release their official schedules, claiming it would help show he’s accountable to voters.

“I want Arizonans to know that I am there serving them,” the Democrat and former astronaut said.

Kelly said he intends to post his schedules online the next day. They’ll show meetings and phone calls in Washington and Arizona that pertain to official business, but he won’t report family or campaign events.

He said in February he would reject money from corporate political action committees.

Sens. Jon Tester, D-Montana, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, all regularly release at least a portion of their schedules, though they often include blocks of time that are unaccounted for.

Tester’s schedule, for example, lists the names of people he met with and the organizations they represent, press interviews and Senate floor sessions.

Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs for the good government group Common Cause, said lawmakers who provide the information helps promote transparency.

“It’s critically important for the public to have faith and confidence that their elected officials are doing the people’s business, not the bidding of special interests,” Scherb said.

Congress is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act that allows journalists and the public to request records to keep tabs on the executive branch, he said.

Kelly is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Republican Sen. Martha McSally’s seat in 2020. A spokeswoman for McSally declined to comment.