Bill may up profile of political sponsors

John Dimsdale Apr 14, 2010
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Bill may up profile of political sponsors

John Dimsdale Apr 14, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: It looks like Democrats in Congress will introduce a bill to make companies and unions tell us when they give money for political advertising. This is a response to that Supreme Court ruling in January that the government can’t restrict those contributions. Marketplace’s John Dimsdale has the story.


John Dimsdale: The Supreme Court’s ruling isn’t likely to be overturned, so campaign finance reformers are left pushing for more disclosure of who’s giving how much to which candidate.

Bob Edgar: Nobody can tell me our founding fathers were sitting around a table saying that money was to be considered under the freedom of speech provisions of the constitution.

Common Cause’s Bob Edgar says contributors should be a visible presence in campaign ads, and that could end up in the legislation.

Edgar: I want them to come on and have their face and voice on the television ads.

But Brad Smith with the Center for Competitive Politics is skeptical about on-screen endorsements:

Brad Smith: What would be gained by that? If we went out and did a survey, I don’t think you would find 10 percent of Americans that could name more than two corporate CEOs and actually attach them to the corporation.

The upcoming legislation is expected to set out how groups sponsoring political ads will disclose their donors.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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