The issue at the Federal Election Commission Thursday: Deciding how to say "we can't decide."
Not coming to a decision on the issue of how to regulate political speech has become commonplace at an agency divided between two Democratic commissioners in favor of increasing disclosure of the funders behind political ads and three Republicans opposing reform. With four votes needed to take any action, there are a lot of no decisions.
But on Thursday, things got a bit more frustrating than usual.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who is suing the FEC over donor disclosure
There was a brief ...Continue reading
Sunlight, Non-Profits File Pro-Disclosure Brief in Van Hollen v. FEC
This afternoon the Sunlight Foundation, joined by 8 other non-profits, filed an amicus brief supporting disclosing financial disbursements made by entities... View ArticleContinue reading
FEC says that using “Obamacare” counts as election ad
When is an advertisement an election ad?
The FEC considered that question Thursday at a hearing, and despite a lot of partisan disagreement, came up with one definitive answer: An ad that uses the term "Obamacare," an initially derogatory term for describing President Obama's 2010 health care law that Democrats have since tried to reclaim, qualifies.
At issue is how to categorize thinly veiled attack ads that don't directly call for the election or defeat of a named candidate. It's a question of intense interest to groups planning to run political ads this summer and fall but ...Continue reading
Courts See the Light on Transparency
Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrated that it gets the need for greater transparency... View ArticleContinue reading
Van Hollen Lawsuit vs. FEC Sheds Light on Corporate Campaign Activity
Can corporations and labor unions hide how much money they spend on campaign-related ads by funneling money through other corporations... View ArticleContinue reading