“This pervasive use of secret money undermines the democratic process,” said Newton Minow, former FCC chairman, and Henry Geller, a former agency general counsel who previously headed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in a petition filed Monday at the FCC. “Full sponsorship disclosure is the law.”
The two Democrats are urging the agency to act, because FCC rules only require disclosure of the actual sponsor of the issue ads — not also the individuals or groups who donated funds to the sponsor of the ads.
In their petition, Minow and Geller insist that the FCC already has the power to require the additional donor disclosure.
“It is the responsibility of the FCC to enforce the long-established rule,” the two said in their petition. “The voting public needs and is entitled to know who is trying to persuade it.”
In their petition, the two Democrats also said $332 million of “dark money” was spent on controversial radio and TV issues ads by so-called social welfare organizations during the last election cycle.
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