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May 20th, 2015
In an op-ed printed in the May 19th edition of the San Jose Mercury News entitled “End Secret Sponsors of Political Advertisements,” I wrote about how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should be cracking down on secret sponsors of political advertisements on the public airwaves. Disclosure of the true sponsors of political ads is already a requirement in California and proven highly effective. It’s why in 2010 voters turned down a state ballot initiative that weakened greenhouse gas emission rules. When the true sponsors of the ads had to be disclosed, voters learned there were two major oil companies who funded them, and the measure was rejected.
As the 2016 presidential campaigns ramp up, the entire American electorate has a right to know exactly who is trying to persuade them in the barrage of political ads that are a mainstay of campaigns now. Political front groups that place the ads do not disclose their true backers in order to protect the moneyed and special interests they represent. I want to see the FCC use its existing authority over the public airwaves to require these groups to disclose the true backers of their ads.
Transparency is a powerful way for American voters to hold our political system accountable, and it’s why I’m leading a group of House Democrats on legislation to require the FCC to enforce its rules. Called the KOCH (Keeping Our Campaigns Honest) Act, the bill would shine a light on the real sponsors of political ads allowing voters to be ‘in the know.’
You can read my full op-ed here, and if you have any comments or questions, let me hear from you.
All my best,
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress
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