Oversight of Federal Political Advertisement Laws and Regulations

Subcommittee on Information Technology
Subcommittee on Information Technology
Hearing Date: October 24, 2017 2:00 pm 2154 Rayburn HOB

PURPOSE:

  • To examine the different regulations and laws that govern political advertisement disclaimers and disclosures. 
  • To highlight the importance of free speech and First Amendment implications of attempting to regulate political speech. 

BACKGROUND:

  • The IT Subcommittee has held a series of hearings analyzing existing laws and regulations for potential updates to reflect technological advances.
  • The Federal Election Commission (FEC) oversees civil campaign finance laws and enforces disclaimer requirements for all public communication related to campaigns for federal offices.
  • Disclaimers must include whether the candidate authorized or did not authorize the advertisement as well as who paid for the advertisement. 
  • In 2006, the FEC issued a final rule to expand the definition of public advertisements to include paid internet ads. A number of Advisory Opinions were submitted in an effort to seek relief from these new requirements. 
  • On October 10, 2017, the FEC voted to reopen an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking period (ANPRM) seeking additional comments on the new internet advertising rules.  

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Mr. Allen Dickerson Legal Director Center for Competitive Politics Document
Mr. David Chavern President and Chief Executive Officer News Media Alliance Document
Mr. Jack N. Goodman Owner Law Offices of Jack N. Goodman Document
Mr. Randall Rothenberg President and Chief Executive Officer Interactive Advertising Bureau Document
Mr. Ian Vandewalker Senior Counsel Brennan Center for Justice, Democracy Program Document