Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) sent a letter to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urging him to support the Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act (OETA). The legislation would improve the disclosure of digital political advertising by keeping up with modern trends in campaigns, as the spending by candidates and outside groups increasingly moves online.
The legislation is well-crafted and constitutional according to well-established Supreme Court precedent. It would require online platforms to create publicly-accessible databases about political ad purchases, which would allow the public to access detailed information about the sources of digital ads. This is important because it would institute greater accountability for online platforms that host these ads, and help root out the kind of foreign interference campaign that Russia waged in 2016. While bipartisan legislation that would improve transparency in online political advertising has stalled at the federal level, it is important that states push forward new measures that will help give voters, journalists, watchdog groups, and law enforcement important tools to reveal illegal foreign activity in elections. Moreover, disclosure of online ad spending allows voters to make informed decisions at the ballot box. Read the letter.