Commentary

Tell Me Everything Behind Your Ad & Maybe I'll Buy -- Even From A Politician

Wouldn’t you like to know who’s behind those still-running, anti-Obamacare ads on your local stations?

The FCC, under “Disclose Act” rules adopted last year, has instructed stations to identify -- on special website areas -- who is paying for ads and for what fee.

Senator Ted Cruz doesn’t like the “Disclose Act” and insists he’ll block or delay the ascension of Tom Wheeler to FCC chairman because he is unsure how Wheeler feels about it.

Politicians can be a murky lot sometimes. But only Republican senators seem to be against the “Disclose Act.”  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, political marketers who kept their donors secret spent $311 million on campaigns in 2012, with 85% of the money favoring Republicans.

Does the “Disclose Act” mean more bureaucracy? Maybe. But it also means more open information.  That might help citizens figure out which way to turn when it comes to an issue -- on both sides of the aisle.

Free speech is great, but it comes with responsibility. Not only do I want to know who is doing the speaking, but I want to know how they got there.  You want privacy? As a politician? Keep your money in your pocket -- or get a newsmaker spot on your favorite news show. Selling me cereal in a commercial? I can read earning reports from most major food companies.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell says the “Disclose Act” is "part of a disturbing trend to expand regulation of political speech."

And yet, payment is somehow required. Commerce and business clash with political messages.  It’s tough, I know. Media fractionalization is everywhere. I have a bullhorn for sale.

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