FCC: Letter from CLC on Political Broadcasting & Sponsorship Identification


On October 29, 2015, the Campaign Legal Center joined the Sunlight Foundation and Common Cause in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take immediate action to enforce the public file and sponsorship identification requirements of Sections 315 and 317 of the Communications Act.  Enforcing the broadcaster mandate would require stations to disclose the funders behind political ads run by Super PACs and ‘dark money’ groups.  Section 315 outlines the requirements for what is included in a broadcast television station’s publicly available political file regarding advertisements run by candidates as well as advertisements “relating to any political matter of national importance.”  Section 317 requires broadcasters to disclose to their listeners or viewers the “true identity of the person or persons, or corporation, committee, association or other unincorporated group, or other entity” paying for the ad.