"We are not public figures," he said. We "don't control the public purse."

And it's not just his information that will be exposed, Zimmerberg said. Under the law, he said, his wife's securities transactions and the investment holdings of his children's custodial accounts would also be open to public scrutiny.

The new rules, he said, would diminish the government's ability to attract employees. Already, he said, the law has led peers at universities to turn down opportunities to work for the federal government.

In September, a federal District Court judge in Greenbelt sided with Zimmerberg and the other plaintiffs and temporarily delayed the online publication of their information.

Congress also ordered a study — due March 28 — on the potential security risks of online disclosures. And lawmakers extended the deadline for posting the financial information of executive branch managers and top congressional staffers until April 15.

But the disclosures are now online for members of Congress, the president and vice president and congressional candidates.

Dan Auble, senior researcher with the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, said House members posted their financial disclosures online before the STOCK Act, but senators and congressional candidates did not.

His group used to have to trudge down to Capitol Hill to collect paper disclosure statements on senators, scan them into a computer and then post them online. Now images of those paper documents are available online.

Later this year, financial disclosures will be available in a searchable database that can be downloaded, he said.

Financial dealings must be reported within 30 to 45 days — depending on when lawmakers and others covered by the law receive notices of their transactions. In the past, Auble said, such information might not have been disclosed for 18 months.

"This is a huge improvement over how things worked prior to the STOCK Act," he said.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

twitter.com/eambrose

The STOCK Act

Applies to lawmakers, senior congressional staff, president, vice president and 28,000 executive branch managers. These last are challenging their inclusion in court.

Requires covered federal workers to report the sale and purchase of securities that exceed $1,000.

Financial transactions must be reported within 30 to 45 days, depending on when employees are notified of transactions.

Information must eventually be posted online in a searchable and downloadable database viewable by the public.

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