Today, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and a Congressional leader on campaign finance reform, offered an amendment today to require broader disclosure from entities purchasing political advertisements through cable, satellite, or broadcast television or radio.
"All Americans have a right to honest information about who has paid for the political messages they receive," said Rep. Eshoo. "This includes the sponsors of political advertisements--not just the names of sham entities designed to evade disclosure.
"Americans are besieged by anonymous campaign ads around the clock this year. With disclosure and transparency, the public will be able to decide for themselves, because relevant information about the interests and their impact will be public. Disclosure of an ad's major donors does not place any undue burdens on speech or industry. It will empower the voters."
Rep. Eshoo offered her amendment to H.R. 3309, the FCC Process Reform Act, when the legislation came to the floor of the full House of Representatives. The amendment requires political advertisers to disclose contributors of $10,000 or more as a condition for purchasing ad time. The amendment failed by a vote of 179 to 238.
She offered a similar amendment during markup of the legislation in the Energy and Commerce Committee on March 5th which was rejected 16-30, with every Republican voting no.