Thursday, January 21, 2016

FCC Pressured To Require Disclosure For Political Ads

House Democrats on Wednesday pressed for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reveal the sponsors of political advertisements.

“In today's political reality of non-stop campaigning, our system continues to fail the American people by allowing special interests and shadow groups to flood our airwaves with anonymous ads, with no disclosure whatsoever,” the lawmakers said in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
“We believe the Federal Communications Commission has the responsibility and legal authority to require disclosure of the actual donors behind these ads.”

The letter was signed by 168 lawmakers, just 20 short of the entire House Democratic Caucus. They argue that the FCC has the ability to compel the person whose donation finances a political ad to identify themselves, as opposed to just the organization sponsoring it.

The Democrats argue the commission can take action under the a provision that asks the agency to “fully and fairly disclose the true identity of the person or persons, or corporation, committee, association or other unincorporated group” behind an ad. Critics of the commission say that that should mean disclosing the donors who pay for ads through outside groups, not just the groups themselves.

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