The primary sponsor of legislation to require more information about who’s paying to get voters’ attention says her online advertising bill probably is going nowhere in this election year.
Gathering enough support to get the bill enacted is “hard when a lot of the companies don’t want it done,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Jan. 30. “That’s our problem.”
The bill titled the Honest Ads Act (S. 1989), cosponsored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), would require disclosure of sources of funding behind paid political ads carried by big online platforms. It would give the Federal Election Commission the authority to require disclosure of sponsors of online ads that focus on elections and issues that could influence elections.
The legislation also would require ad sellers to make reasonable efforts to prevent foreign influence in U.S. elections.
Representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter have been summoned to Capitol Hill to testify about political messages paid for by Russian sources. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia sought to intervene in the election to help elect President Donald Trump. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, in an interview with the BBC, said he expects Russia to target the U.S. midterm elections.