Congress wants names on election ads

Marketplace Staff Apr 30, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Congress wants names on election ads

Marketplace Staff Apr 30, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: In January, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could spend freely on election ads. Well yesterday, lawmakers in Congress introduced legislation to counter that decision. It would force companies, unions, and interest groups to publicly put their name on their ad spending. From Washington, Marketplace’s Brett Neely has more.


Brett Neely: If the bill passes, trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would have to name their top donors in political advertising. That’s one reason why New York Senator Charles Schumer introduced the bill.

Charles Schumer: I think that lots of these ads, the people who put them forward are happy to do it if they can do it in the dark of night. But once sunlight occurs, they shrivel up and don’t do them. So I think there’ll be many fewer of them.

The bill would also bar government contractors and bailout recipients, and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign firms from campaign-related expenditures.

Lawyer Ted Olson, who successfully argued the Citizens United case, represents the Chamber of Commerce and says the bill goes too far.

Ted Olson: What Congress is trying to do here to is restrict the dissemination of ideas about candidates for public office.

Even if the bill passes, and that will be tough in an election year, its constitutionality is expected to be challenged in court.

In Washington, I’m Brett Neely for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.