U.S. Rep. David Price on Thursday said that with more political ad money from groups that don’t have to report their donors flooding the state, it was time to reintroduce his “Stand by Every Ad Act” in Congress. The bill would require the leader of a super PAC, corporation or special interest group to appear in an ad and take responsibility for it. Ads also would have to disclose their sponsor’s top five donors.
Price introduced a similar bill in December 2011, but it didn’t advance to a vote of the House. That bill had four co-sponsors: three Democrats from other states and North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones of Farmville.
Price also was the author of the federal “Stand By Your Ad” legislation that requires federal candidates and political parties to take responsibility for their messages. It became law in 2002.
“If we fail to require disclosure from groups empowered by recent Supreme Court decisions, we will be inviting a return to the worst disparaging and deliberately misleading campaign advertising,” Price said in a statement. “If candidates and political parties have to take responsibility for their ads, it is only reasonable to hold corporations or labor unions or Super PACs to the same standard of accountability.”
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A report this week by the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks advertising in federal elections, said that nationwide, 59 percent of Senate ads and 57 percent of House ads were sponsored by groups that are not required to disclose their donors. North Carolina topped the list of states with 14,870 airings of ads in the Senate race, 90 percent of them paid for by interest groups.
The General Assembly repealed North Carolina’s pioneering “Stand by Your Ad Act” last year, effective Jan. 1, 2014. That law had required state candidates to say they “approved this message.”
Updated: Instead, the new state law requires that political TV ads include a photo of the candidate and display a statement indicating who paid for it.