Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
The idea behind campaign-finance disclosure rules is to maximize transparency in politics. But donors to Ward 4 D.C. Councilmember Adrian Fenty’s constituent-services fund got a bit more openness than they’d bargained for. In addition to recording the names of contributors and dollar amounts of their contributions, as is required, Fenty’s office last summer took the unusual step of filing photocopies of donors’ checks at the Office of Campaign Finance (OCF). The checks, with contributors’ personal bank-account numbers clearly visible, found their way past OCF auditors and into the office’s public computer system. “It’s OK for them to publish my name. It’s not OK for them to…publish my bank-account number. That’s confidential,” says Julia Lara Rockett, who, with her husband, gave $50 to the Fenty fund in March. Fenty staffer Jason Washington says, “I didn’t mean to make that mistake, but it won’t go into our next filing, if that’s any consolation.” OCF pulled the offending records and is sending them back to Fenty’s office to be resubmitted. —Nina Mitchell