Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, April 28, 2012

FCC Cracks Down on Anonymous Campaign Donors

Congress, the Supreme Court and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) can’t or won’t do anything about the anonymous campaign donors who keep stealing elections.  But the FCC has finally come to the rescue.

Not all secret campaign donors will be exposed, but the FCC has put a major dent in the problem.  Local TV affiliates of the major networks will be required to publicize, online, some basic information about the political ads they broadcast.  With just a few clicks you’ll be able to find out who paid for each political ad and how much they paid.

This FCC ruling will cover about sixty percent of the political TV ads we’ll be getting swamped with.  It’s a start anyway.

For the other forty percent of TV stations that aren’t covered by this ruling, the information is available but you have to go to the physical location of that station and request a paper copy of the information you want.  Aw come on, you’ve got plenty of time to do that, right?

The FCC vote was 2 to 1 in favor of this ruling.  Needless to say, the one Republican commissioner was the dissenting vote.  It also goes without saying that the broadcast industry is having a mass pantytwist over this new rule.

You know the drill:  too much paperwork, too cumbersome, too much government intrusion, yada yada...

A watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, had been urging the FCC to make this ruling.  A spokesperson said:

“With so much secret political spending by shadowy outside groups flooding our airwaves, it is more important than ever that we have some information regarding the identities of those who are trying to influence our votes.  Like so many things in Washington these days, the decision to make these allegedly publicly available documents online seems like a no-brainer.”

It most definitely is a no-brainer.  Whatever anyone thinks about campaign finance laws, the public has a right to know who it is that’s purchasing the electoral process right out from under us.  And now, thanks to the FCC’s ruling, we can finally lift up that rock and get a good look at the slimy slippery vermin that have been squiggling underneath it.

Thank you FCC; or at least two out of the three of you.

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Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

It's a step in the right direction, but you know how it goes in this country: 1 step forward, 4 or 5 steps back.

April 28, 2012 at 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

What JR said so I don't need to think.

April 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Now if we could just get the Justice Department to go after the Wall Street crooks something might get done.

April 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR, Jess: I'm enjoying this single step forward anyway. But the five backward steps won't be a bit surprising.

Demeur: Dream on :)

April 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Glad somebody is doing something anyway. The Republicans know our country operates on a pay to play system, and they are certainly paying to play when it comes to politics. But when it comes to letting the public know which billionaires are financing all their b.s. they do kind of like to hide it.

April 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: This is a good start. We'll finally get to know who at least some of these mysterious billionaires are.

April 29, 2012 at 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A recent ruling by the "socialist" 9th district has allowed Political Advertising on PBS, is nothing sacred?


April 29, 2012 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: If nothing else, I hope the upcoming FCC website will show us who these PBS advertisers are.

April 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

This move toward some transparency is worthwhile. The FCC is to be congratulated for the ruling.

That said, given how much money the wealthy and corporations are dumping on this election, the ruling's effect will be slightly less effective than trying to stop a speeding freight train with a pea shooter.

April 30, 2012 at 2:10 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: I guess we should be grateful for every peashooter we can get :)

April 30, 2012 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

As long as they go after "all" party's donors but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

April 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM  

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