Good Government and Grassroots Groups Will Call on FEC to Advance Rules Preventing Secret Sponsors From Buying Political Ads Online

The location of this event is being changed to Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

Nov. 9, 2017

Good Government and Grassroots Groups Will Call on FEC to Advance Rules Preventing Secret Sponsors From Buying Political Ads Online

WHAT: Good government and grassroots organizations and U.S. lawmakers on Thursday will call on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to move forward with a rulemaking process establishing disclaimer rules for online political advertisements.

The groups have gathered more than 150,000 signatures to submit to the FEC urging them to address the issue of secretive sponsorship of online campaign ads. Currently, internet communications are largely exempt from campaign finance disclosure requirements, allowing ad sponsors to disguise their identities and even offer campaign ads as misleading news stories. Disclaimers should be placed in the ads themselves, informing the public who has paid for them.

In an era when the internet plays a critical role in the political environment, new rules addressing these issues are critical and could help curtail foreign meddling in elections.

The comments come as bipartisan legislation is introduced in the U.S. Senate to pick up where the FEC has fallen short. The Honest Ads Act would require that sources of funding behind paid political ads to be disclosed to the public and would require large platforms like Facebook and Google to work to ensure that campaign ads on their platforms are not purchased by foreign nationals.

Nov. 9 is the deadline for comments to the FEC on the disclaimer rules. The groups will deliver the signatures to the FEC after the event.

WHO: : U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.)
U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.)
Elizabeth Beavers, foreign policy manager, Indivisible Project
Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs, Public Citizen (moderator)
Diallo Brooks, senior director of outreach and public engagement, People For the American Way
Steve Spaulding, chief of strategy and external affairs, Common Cause
Jeanette Senecal, senior director of elections, League of Women Voters
Liz Kennedy, director of democracy and government reform, Center for American Progress

WHEN: 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, Nov. 9

WHERE: Room 902, Hart Senate Office Building, 120 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

VISUALS: There will be boxes with the groups’ logos representing the more than 150,000 signatures.

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