I wrote back in January about an FCC proposed rule that would force local TV stations to put the results of the political ad spending on their airwaves online, rather than in an obscure filing room at the station that few people ever see. This would increase the transparency of political spending, which now relies on just a few reports by independent watchdogs and self-reporting from campaigns. Under this new standard, anyone could look up on the Internet the mass of ad spending. It looks like the FCC will do this.
|By: David Dayen Monday April 9, 2012 1:00 pm|
|By: David Dayen Thursday January 5, 2012 5:00 pm|
One of the biggest disasters with the broken campaign finance system is that we actually have no reporting mechanism for assessing how much money gets spent on campaigns, at least on television. Sometimes candidates and PACs will announce their spending on ads, but local stations are not obligated to report how much they make from political advertising. You see organizations like the Campaign Media Analysis Group quoted in articles about campaign finance, but they basically make educated guesses that involve a lot of legwork. The only way to truly find out how much one television station makes from political advertising is to physically go down to the station and find the person with that information.