A former Federal Communications Commission chairman, Newton Minow, has urged implementation of a new FCC rule to require major broadcasters to disclose online who is funding campaign ads and how much they are spending for them.
House Republicans are pushing a legislative provision that would cut off funding for implementation of the controversial directive (see Gavel Grab).
In a Politico commentary, Minow (photo) and former FCC general counsel Henry Geller argued that the FCC is carrying out its job in a 21st century fashion, and that implementation of the new rule “accords with the Supreme Court’s admonition” about disclosure in Citizens United. In that landmark campaign finance opinion, the high court voted 8-1 to affirm the importance of political disclosure.
After the Supreme Court decided Citizens United in 2010, Bert Brandenburg, executive director of Justice at Stake, emphasized the need for campaign finance disclosure in judicial elections.
“States that elect judges should immediately enact strong, real-time reporting laws, so that special-interest spending is forced into the sunlight. Voters have a right to know who is paying to put judges on their courts,” he said. To learn more about the importance of robust disclosure laws, see the JAS issues page on the topic.