Supreme Court upholds financial disclosure in campaign ads | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 27, 2017

Supreme Court upholds financial disclosure in campaign ads

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 12:03 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the constitutionality of the federal law that requires disclosure of expenditures of more than $10,000 within 60 days of contested elections even if the ads don't explicitly urge a vote for or against a candidate.

This is important because some dark forces — think Koch-heads and their ilk — emboldened by unlimited corporate spending want to go the next step and make sources of money secret.

This is important, too, because it should open the door to state legislation that would similarly require disclosure of advertising that is clearly political in nature though lacking in a direct endorsement. This dark money advertising has become extremely influential in Arkansas, mostly for the dominant Republicans so a change to more transparency is probably a longshot.  In fact, Democrats have a bill to require reporting of electioneering communications on file this session.

Electioneering ads are the kind that clearly imply dastardly behavior by a candidate, but don't urge a vote for an opponent. "Call Sen. Jones and tell him to stop supporting child molesters." That sort of thing.

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