Sunlight and Campaign Legal Center, represented by Georgetown University's Institute for Public Representation, are filing complaints against 11 TV stations for letting political advertisers hide their identites.Continue reading
Beyond his experience on the front lines of the communications industry, Wheeler ingratiated himself with the Obama administration in another key way: bundling campaign cash for the president.Continue reading
The Federal Communications Commission just made the cost of a Senate seat a lot easier to calculate — and it's because the agency became more transparent.Continue reading
A decade after the Supreme Court predicted the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law would help promote transparency by making public information on campaign ad buys, most political advertisers and TV stations aren't providing the information at all.Continue reading
Washington State's nearly $30 million ad war has come to an end, as voters struck down a referendum that would have mandated labeling of any products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It was the most expensive referendum battle, but the public does not have a clear picture of how, when or on what stations TV ads were purchased, as local stations appear to be relying on a loophole in a regulation to avoid disclosure.Continue reading
Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) mission to shutter the government in one fell swoop may be (temporarily) over, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped trying to handcuff federal agencies in an effort to impose his own agenda on their work. His most recent effort involves preventing a Senate vote on the nomination of Tom Wheeler for FCC chairman because he wants to get Wheeler’s commitment that he will not use the FCC’s regulatory authority to require disclosure of the dark money behind political ads. In a statement, Senator Cruz’s office announced, “Yes, the Senator is holding the nominee until he gets answers to his questions regarding Mr. Wheeler’s views on whether the FCC has the authority or intent to implement the requirements of the failed Congressional DISCLOSE Act. Mr. Wheeler had previously declined to give specific answers, but as he’s now expressed his readiness to revisit the Senator’s questions, the Senator hopes to communicate with him soon.” Good luck to Mr. Wheeler during that conversation.Continue reading
The Federal Communications Commission should not back down from requiring all broadcast stations to post political ad purchase disclosures online in time for next year's congressional midterm elections, the Sunlight Foundation and a coalition of public interest groups urged in a legal brief filed Monday. The National Association of Broadcasters, meanwhile, appeared to soften its longstanding opposition to online posting of the information.
Sunlight and its allies urged the commission to expand the reach of the current online file -- which compiles information on political ads purchased at about one-tenth of the nation's broadcast stations -- and to push for ...Continue reading
While it’s not at the volume of the Fall, our television screens are continuing to experience a case of “political ad fever.” From commercials about gun laws and tax rates to ads about alleged animal cruelty, issue groups took to the airwaves this winter. We reviewed the ad files in Political Ad Sleuth for the first three months of 2013 and mapped the trends among issue group advertisers in the nation’s top 50 media markets.
- Washington, DC — 14 issue groups bought airtime, including four on the topic of gun control, three urging the Senate not to appoint Chuck Hagel and one supporting the U.S. postal service.
- Milwaukee — 7, with issue ads around candidates for the city’s judge circuit race being the majority of the ones we found.
- Los Angeles — 6, mostly centered on candidates in the LA mayoral race.
A story which had been making the rounds in broadcast trade publications, broke into the mainstream media Thursday, when NPR reported that scammers have been taking advantage of the Federal Communications Commission's online political ad file to rip off political consultants. Hold the no-honor-among-thieves jokes. Let's just stipulate that stealing is not a good thing, even if the victims are political consultants. More worrisome than what the latest developments on the FCC database mean for advertisers' information is what they could mean for yours.Continue reading
A decade after a landmark campaign finance reform law mandated that TV stations collect the names of board members or executive officers of groups running political ads for federal candidates or any "national legislative issue of public importance," records show broadcasters often ignore the rules.Continue reading