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TV stations fight FCC over political ad disclosure


TV stations fight FCC over political ad disclosure

Broadcasters are pushing back against the Federal Communications Commission after the agency made clear it wants broader public disclosure regarding TV political ads.

With the 2020 election less than a year away and political TV ads running more frequently, the FCC issued a lengthy order to clear up any ambiguities licensees of TV stations had regarding their responsibility to record information about ad content and sponsorship. In response, a dozen broadcasting stations sent a petition to the agency, asking it to consider a more narrow interpretation of the law.

This dispute over disclosure rules for TV ads comes at a time when digital ads are subject to little regulation. Efforts to apply the same rules for TV, radio and print advertising across the internet have been stymied by Congress's partisanship and the Federal Election Commission being effectively out of commission.

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Passage of historic voting rights law takes a partisan turn

In a partisan vote on an issue that once was bipartisan, House Democrats pushed through legislation Friday that would restore a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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The Voting Rights Advancement Act passed the House 228-187, with all Democrats voting for the bill and all but one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, voting against it.

The bill faces virtually no chance of being considered in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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Meet the reformer: Laura Williamson, sounding a progressive Carolina call

Laura Williamson says her career was shaped by growing up in North Carolina, which she describes as being historically at the center of the best and worst of American democracy. She spent seven years working with young people at progressive groups and got a master's in public affairs at Princeton before joining Demos in the summer of 2018. The think tank aims to combat "threats to democracy, racial equity and economic inclusion" and as a senior policy analyst she's focused on voter registration, voting rights, money in politics and civic participation. Her answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

What's democracy's biggest challenge, in 10 words or less?

Abolishing all disenfranchisement schemes and achieving an inclusive, multiracial democracy.

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On TV, political ads are regulated – but online, anything goes

"Political ads on social networks can hide behind a cloak of secrecy," argues Ari Lightman of Carnegie Mellon University.


Debate: Big tech and the future of political speech online

The growing power and influence of 'Big Tech' have inspired a new wave of critics on both America's Left and Right. Join R Street Institute on Dec. 11 in San Francisco to hear a debate over how to handle tech and political speech online.

We’re all about the issues that have broken American democracy — and efforts to make governments work again for you, your family and your friends.
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