Cards Against Humanity is known affectionately as ______.

The card you’re looking for is “A party game for horrible people.”

Though, alternatively, you might choose one of these real cards from the game Cards Against Humanity to complete a really amusing sentence: “Five-Dollar Footlongs,” “Figgy Pudding” or “The Tempur-Pedic Swedish Sleep System.” (There are many other cards from the game that simply aren’t appropriate to list here.)

Now, 250,000 of Cards Against Humanity’s most devoted fans own a 6-acre island in the middle of Lake St. George in the Maine town of Liberty. That must mean that 250,000 horrible people now own square-foot parcels of a private island near Lake St. George State Park. What great neighbors we can expect them to be.

But in the process of making these horrible people partial owners of a private island, the unconventional Chicago-based game maker has transformed its fans into advocates for good — at least if you think we could all benefit from additional government transparency. (To be sure, Cards Against Humanity devotees are really not horrible people. They just have a tendency to enjoy crude and potentially offensive humor among friends.)

The parcels of Hawaii 2 — the Cards Against Humanity name, acknowledged by Google Maps, for what was formerly Birch Island — were the last in a series of holiday season gifts the company offered to the 250,000 fans who signed up to receive them through the “10 Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa” promotion (last year’s promotion was “12 Days of Holiday Bull****”). The gifts included “ stickers to not use for vandalism,” “miracle berries” that temporarily make sour food taste sweet, and packs of “Ghost of Kwanzaa Future” cards with predictions such as “The Great Lizard Uprising of 2352.”

On the promotion’s ninth day, Cards Against Humanity contributed $250,000 to the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group that publicizes the activities — official and electoral — of members of Congress and state legislatures, along with the large-scale donors attempting to influence them through campaign contributions.

The same day, Cards Against Humanity sent its 250,000 gift subscribers printed-out lists of their U.S. senators’ largest campaign contributions using Sunlight Foundation data. The printout received by constituents of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, for example, was 14 feet long. (The company also put up a website saying how it could bribe politicians for $250,000. For example, the company could buy “47,528 Pizza Lunchables® and 10,049 pairs of child-sized work gloves for Maine Governor Paul LePage who suggested we should make it legal for twelve year olds to work…”)

The gag wasn’t only an effort to draw attention to the influence a small number of deep-pocketed donors who have a hold over our elected officials. It also drew attention to the archaic way in which senators and Senate candidates file their campaign finance disclosures: In the digital age of 2014, they still prepare paper copies of their campaign finance reports, mail them to the secretary of the Senate, who then sends each page to the Federal Election Commission, which then scans in the thousands and thousands of pages so they can be viewed online. In addition to being an incredibly inefficient use of taxpayer dollars, the process can cause significant delays in transparency, meaning the public can’t view campaign finance records sometimes until well after filing deadlines.

By contrast, House members and candidates, as well as presidents and presidential candidates have been filing their campaign records electronically for more than a decade.

The Senate has stuck with its paper ways not for lack of trying. Bills to move the chamber into the digital age have repeatedly failed despite apparently widespread, bipartisan support.

Perhaps Cards Against Humanity’s uniquely 21st century take on advocacy can finally make it happen.

To celebrate, the owners of Hawaii 2 can plan a summer get-together on their island and invite Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and any other senators so inclined to join the festivities. Paper finance reports would feed the bonfire.

The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...