California’s FPPC Issues New Disclosure Rule on Issue Ads

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) today issued a new ruling “requiring groups that send out campaign messages ‘expressly advocating’ for the election or defeat of a candidate or ballot measure, to disclose who paid for the message.”

This changes the game, and makes it more transparent. Previously, certain “magic” words or phrases –such as “vote for,” “oppose,” “elect,” etc. —  had to appear in such ads to trigger this requirement.

But now, according to the press release issued today by the FPPC, the Commission will also require disclosure when a message is crafted without them, but is “susceptible of no reasonable interpretation, other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate or measure.”

This new disclosure applies to messages that appear during the final 60 days of an election.

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