Should the names of major donors be disclosed on political ads? (HR2125)

Summary for Congressional bill HR 2125 (114th):

  • Requires that the name of major donors (not just the name of the sponsor/PAC) be disclosed on TV ads.

In Depth:

  • Normally this would be done through the FEC, but this bill tries to go through the FCC.
  • Ted Cruz previously held up Tom Wheeler’s nomination as Chairman of the FCC due to this very issue.

Vote Yes if you believe:

  • We should know who is spending millions to influence our elections. #Transparency #Democracy #Elections
  • Just knowing the name of the PAC or organization that is sponsoring the ad is not enough. #Transparency #Elections
  • Political advertisements should be transparent in regards to donors and sponsorships. #PoliticalTransparency

Vote No if you believe:

  • Disclosure of donor information can lead to harassment. #Transparency
  • Disclosure of donor information discourages free speech. #Transparency #1stAmendment
  • Disclosing major donor information is not useful in political ads. #Transparency #Elections link to HR 2125

(This is the 1st draft of the summary for a bill in Polinav. Summary & In-Depth is non-partisan & Vote yes/no reasons are fact-checked. if you think something is wrong, should be added or deleted, comment below!)

So, within the current political system, this bill only exists to suggest to the FCC that they should take this action. So the contents of this bill are actions that the FCC can take on their own, though it could be done legislatively as well.

Since Republicans control both houses of Congress, this bill has little chance of ever seeing time on the floor. That’s what we aim to change with Polinav. If the people want a bill passed, then it shouldn’t matter which party controls Congress. If anything, that would show that the wrong party is controlling Congress (or maybe that our two-party is a sham?).

Anyhow, to the contents of the bill! I’m actually kind of split on this bill. To put my stance simply, I would support this bill if Polinav is not successful. If Polinav is successful, then I wouldn’t support this bill. Let me explain.

What Polinav would do if successful is to significantly reduce the impact of money on elections. In that case, I would want to help keep the privacy of those who help pay for these ads. However, in the current political climate where money actually has a lot of influence in the political process, I would want disclosure on who’s paying for them.

So why the difference? It has to do with power. In our current political system, money has a lot of power. In that case, we want to know who are the ones exerting so much influence. Are they doing it for their own economic gain? If that’s the case (which generally is the case), then we want to know that. When the people have the power and money has less power, then I think their right to privacy trumps whatever we gain from their disclosure. So, where do I stand? I’m going to believe in Polinav.

I would want my representatives to vote NO on this bill!



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