Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) introduced the Fair and Clear Campaign (FCC) Transparency Act to bolster transparency and accountability in political advertising. Senator Luján previously introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives during the 116th Congress.
The FCC Transparency Act would require that the Federal Communications Commission maintain broadcast stations’ public files about political time sold or given away in a machine-readable format. Currently, this information is not made available in an accessible way, which undermines the public’s ability to know who is funding political advertisements.
“For too long, unscrupulous actors could hide behind dark money in political advertising with little to no accountability. It’s time to raise the curtain and empower voters to understand who is fronting political advertisements – often riddled with misleading or untrue claims – during our elections,” said Luján. “This legislation is about transparency and ensuring that Americans have meaningful access to public information before heading to the ballot box.”
The FCC Transparency Act is endorsed by Common Cause, Common Cause New Mexico, and End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund.
“Senator Luján’s “Fair and Clear Campaign Transparency Act” is a common-sense step to improve how Americans can learn more about who is purchasing political advertisements and the resulting political influence,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “The available data about who is purchasing these political advertisements is only as good as it is usable. This bill would make public inspection file information more accessible and transparent for online users by ensuring that it is machine readable. We urge the Senate to advance this legislation because it is one necessary step among many to strengthen accountability and open government.”
“With special interests, multi-national corporations, and hostile foreign actors spending hundreds of millions of dollars in secret money to try to influence our elections in recent years, all Americans deserve to know who is trying to influence their voices and their votes,” said Heather Ferguson, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico. “We appreciate that Senator Luján is introducing the Fair and Clear Campaign Transparency Act to help promote transparency and accountability in political ad spending, and we urge the Senate to pass this common-sense reform, along with the For the People Act.”
“Transparency is a critical part of democracy and Americans deserve to know who’s trying to influence their vote and the Fair and Clear Campaign Transparency Act will do just that, said Tiffany Muller, president and executive director of End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund. “We applaud Sen. Luján for his commitment to creating a political system that’s open and accountable to the people.”