Dispatches from the campaign trail, March 17, 2014

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• It’s Sunshine Week, which highlights transparency (or the lack of it) at all levels of government. This Charlotte Observer report notes that — unlike candidates for president or U.S. House — U.S. Senate candidates are not required to file their campaign finance reports electronically, allowing individuals to view them in real time. Senate rules allow candidates to file on paper, which can delay access to data by days if not weeks as data is entered by clerks. Candidates must file reports for the first three quarters of 2014 by on Oct. 15 and then will file a report covering the first two weeks of October on Oct. 23, roughly 10 days before the election. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan says she supports mandating electronic filing, but she chooses not to do it and she is not one of the 38 co-sponsors of a measure requiring electronic filing.

• A Bloomberg News analysis of campaign advertising for U.S. Senate and House races finds that, through March 9, nearly half of the 66,000 ads run in the current election cycle offer a clear message: opposition to Obamacare and the Democratic politicians who voted for it.

• Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Greg Brannon wins the endorsement of the Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund. Meantime, after Brannon, House Speaker Thom Tillis, and the Rev. Mark Harris spoke Saturday at the Davidson County GOP convention, Brannon narrowly won a straw poll of attendees.

• Former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, who’s running for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District, visits the Southern Pines Pilot newspaper’s editorial board and touts his ability to get things done. One of Crisco’s Democratic rivals, “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, drops by a frozen yogurt shop in Asheboro to make what’s called “as much a fan tour as a campaign stop.”

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