Starting today, all TV and radio stations must send records of political advertising buys to the FCC. Until now, only 230 stations in the top 50 markets had to file the records online. Starting today, more than 2,000 stations will turn over their records.
It has been a long battle to make it easier for the public to see who is paying for political TV ads, many of them attack ads launched by somebody other than the candidates themselves. ProPublica has spent two years trying to “free the files.” Other groups have hammered away at broadcast stations for not disclosing what they should about who is buying ads.
Now, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation is making it easier to examine the records that involve billions of dollars in ad buys.… Read more