Senate Dems push for more disclosure on political ads

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Seven Democratic senators introduced legislation that would require the Federal Communications Commission to increase disclosures on political ads. 

The Sunshine in Sponsorship Identification Act in the Senate has a less hostile name than the House’s Keep Our Campaigns Honest (KOCH) Act, an apparent knock at GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch. 

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The bill, spearheaded by Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonTen senators ask FCC to delay box plan Senators to House: FAA reauthorization would enhance airport security Dems discuss dropping Wasserman Schultz MORE (D-Fla.), resembles the House proposal that would require new FCC regulations to force political groups to list the identity of their “true sponsors” when they run advertisements.

It would also require the FCC to update its identification rules to reflect current technology and consider forcing political groups to disclosure more identifying information online. 

Other sponsors include Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) Ed Markey (Mass.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.). 

Legislation in both chambers has little chance of advancing under Republican control. Nelson and others have said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler already has the authority to act alone. 

“At the same time, I urge the Commission to immediately launch a long-overdue rulemaking to update its sponsorship identification requirements,” Nelson wrote in a letter to Wheeler last week. 

Wheeler told The Hill last week that he would comply with lawmakers’ request if the bills passed. However, he declined to say whether he would consider acting on his own.