Morning Support: Lawmakers See Need to Enhance Transparency of Online Political Ads   (In the News)

Morning Consult: Lawmakers See Need to Enhance Transparency of Online Political Ads

From Edward Graham

Bradley Smith, a former Republican FEC chairman and the current chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics, cautioned against a rush to impose new disclosure requirements which may limit First Amendment rights before comprehending the extend of foreign involvement in the presidential elections.

Smith added that current federal law requires disclaimers for paid advertisements supporting or opposing candidates, such as these online — although he said that there are exemptions for smaller effort products, like bumper stickers and small online ads like Google search advertisements.

“I think we need to be cautious about what the answer should be, so making adjustments that we may create that are effective,” Smith said in a Wednesday phone interview. “But we ought to realize that, if that is actually a case of the Russian authorities involved, this really is something in which the FEC and campaign finance disclosures have a very small part to play. It is something for counterintelligence the Department of Justice.”

An FEC spokesperson would not comment on Klobuchar along with Warner’s legislative attempts, but pointed to the commission vote at its Sept. 14 open meeting to reopen the comment period on proposed rulemaking on online disclaimers for an extra 30 days.

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