Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) today unveiled legislation expanding the ‘Stand by Your Ad’ provisions of the new campaign finance law.
Current law only requires candidates for federal office to state their personal approval of television and radio advertisements. Graham and Wyden would extend that provision to cover other media used for campaign advertising.
“The ‘Stand by Your Ad’ provisions already being applied to television and radio advertisements hold candidates accountable for the content of their commercials,” said Graham. “Our legislation seeks to build upon the accountability provisions already in effect. The effort to put some measure of accountability into the system has and will continue to take some of the venom out of politics.”
The new legislation proposes:
- For Print Ads: A disclaimer occupying not less than 10 percent of the total area containing a photograph of the candidate and a printed statement stating the candidate approved the message. This provision would apply to newspapers, outdoor advertising facilities, bulk mailings, bulk e-mail and similar communications.
- For Video Clips and Audio Clips Distributed Via the Internet: A disclaimer satisfying the current requirement for a TV ad for video clips and a disclaimer satisfying the current requirement for a radio ad for audio clips.
Like the current rules, these requirements would only apply to ads that make direct reference to the candidate’s opponent. Current disclaimer rules for other ads would not be changed.
“The practice of political candidates publicly supporting the content of their ads needs to be expanded,” said Graham. “I don’t believe there is a constitutional right for any group to run a shadow campaign and not be held accountable. The more sunshine we can put into the political process, the better.”