Survey Says: Put Contributors On Air

Findings mixed for Center for Competitive Politics poll
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The
majority of respondents to a Center for Competitive Politics poll on
possible new political contribution disclosure rules (68%) said they
favored making the heads and largest donors
appear in campaign ads to take responsibility for them.

That
requirement was part of the DISCLOSE Act, a bill that would have
boosted disclosure requirements on TV and radio ads, among other things.
It passed in the House but failed in
the Senate.

Other poll findings,
which were
a mixed bag on how much disclosure there should be and who should be
doing it, included that 44% said unions and nonprofits that get grants
and loans should be prohibited from running political addsd and that 62%
either strongly or somewhat disagree that citizen's
contributions to advocacy groups running political ads should have
their name and address posted online.

"Americans' views on disclosure are much more complex than ‘reform' groups like to claim,"  said Center Chairman Bradley Smith.

The
poll was released by the Center Thursday amid talk that the bill's
backers may be trying to revive it by jettisoning controversial portions
relating to foriegn-owned cmopanies
and government contractors.

DISCLOSE
(Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections)
was essentially a reaction to the Supreme Court's decision that a ban on
direct corporate or union funding
of electioneering ads (vote for or against this candidate) was an
unconstitutional regulation of political speech.

The
bill even had a provision that would have made it go into effect
immediately, rather than having to wait for Federal Election Commission
rules implementing it, so that it could
apply to the mid-term elections.

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