Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stand By Your Ad, Mark II

Democrats, led by President Obama, are trying to reverse the influence of corporate money on elections in the wake of Citizens United, have hit on some interesting ideas:
One provision would require the chief executive of any company or group that is the main backer of a campaign advertisement to personally appear in television and radio spots to acknowledge the sponsorship, the officials said.

These are akin to the "I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message" bits you see at the end of every candidate ad, except applied to corporations (and presumably, unions and other such groups). Kevin Drum applies this standard to a California Proposition being pushed by Pacific Gas & Electric designed to force public competitors out of business. The ads, of course, feature "the most reasonable looking soccer mom you've ever laid eyes on, and it's in heavy rotation financed by PG&E's millions." But would they be as effective if the CEO of a massive power company was forced to come on at the end? Maybe not.

1 comment:

joe said...

I don't see why this should accomplish any more than the hurried "I approved this message" from candidates does.

Until there is real public financing for U.S. elections (and as long as the Court is applying the current free speech potections to all these groups, this means basically flooding campaigns with so much money that the outside influence is a drop in the bucket), there will be precious little change.