Groups Want Bloomberg ID’d As PAC Sponsor

The Sunlight Foundation, Campaign Legal Center and Common Cause hav filed complaints against 18 stations carrying ads for Michael Bloomberg's PAC that don’t identify him as the sponsor. The groups warn about 100 others that they may have complaints filed against them if they don’t correct the identification.

The Georgetown Law Institute for Public Representation filed complaints Thursday with the FCC against 18 stations that carried ads for the Independence USA PAC that failed to identify Michael Bloomberg as their sponsor. It has also sent notices to about 100 stations putting them on notice that Bloomberg has provided 100% of the funding of these ads and thus is their true sponsor.

The spots say they are sponsored by Independence USA PAC, the filings say. In the letters to the stations, GLIPR, on behalf of the Sunlight Foundation, Campaign Legal Center and Common Cause, said: “Because the Communications Act and FCC regulations require stations to provide on-air identification of the true sponsor of advertisements, you must identify Michael Bloomberg, and not just Independence USA PAC, as the sponsor of any such ads your station chooses to air.

“The Communications Act and the FCC’s regulations require broadcast stations to ‘fully and fairly disclose the true identity’ of the sponsor of advertisements at the time the ad is aired.

“Section 317 of the Communications Act requires a broadcast licensee to exercise ‘reasonable diligence’ to ‘obtain from its employees, and from other persons with whom it deals directly in connection with [the advertisement], information to enable’ the broadcaster to accurately identify the advertisement’s sponsor.”

The letters also say that the fact that Bloomberg is the true sponsor of Independence ads has also been reported prominently in the national media. “Based on this incontrovertible evidence that Michael Bloomberg is the sole funder and true sponsor of Independence’s ads, your station should identify him as the sponsor of any Independence ads you choose to air. If you do not comply with this request, Sunlight, CLC and CC will file a complaint against your station with the Federal Communications Commission.”

The 18 complaints were filed against: KMOV St. Louis; KCTV Kansas City, Mo.; KMBC Kansas City; KSHB Kansas City; WESH Daytona Beach, Fla.; WKMG Orlando, Fla.; WOFL Orlando, Fla.; WSVN Miami; WTVJ Miami; WDIV Detroit; WJBK Detroit; WXYZ Detroit;  WTMJ Milwaukee; WDJT Milwaukee; WISN Milwaukee; WMTV Madison, Wis.; WKOW Madison, Wis.; WISC Madison, Wis.


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