Eight Democratic senators have asked the commission to require stations to post online versions of political advertising information that stations are already required to include in their public inspection file in paper form.
A group of eight Democratic senators is urging the FCC to move swiftly to require TV stations to post online information about who is buying political advertising and how much they are paying.
“With campaign season in full swing and new super PACs springing up weekly, the public must have access to information about who is funding these ads,” the senators say in the letters.
The signatories include Jeff Merkle (Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Jon Tester (Mont.) Al Franken (Minn.), Michael Bennet (Colo.) Daniel Akaka (Hawaii) and Tom Udall (N.M.).
The letter is timely as the FCC has proposed requiring the online posting of the political advertising information. As the senators point out in their letter, the FCC already require stations to place the information in their public inspection file in paper form.
“Taking the additional step of having these documents available online would create transparency in a time of increasing campaign-finance secrecy.”
The senators also ask the FCC to take into consideration the burden the requirements would place on broadcasters. “[D]o everything possible to find a cost-effective and efficient method for publishing this information online, especially for small and medium-sized stations.”