WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission heard testimony Wednesday and Thursday from 18 experts at a two-day public hearing on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding internet communication disclaimers.
The Commission is considering proposals for a rulemaking to amend the definition of “public communication” and regulations concerning disclaimers on public communications on the internet that contain express advocacy, solicit contributions, or are made by political committees. The Commission received over 165,800 public comments and signatories to others’ comments on the NPRM, which are available here.
“My goal is to try to come up with something that is administrable, clear, and objective,” Chair Caroline C. Hunter said as she opened the hearing Wednesday.
Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub joined her in thanking the witnesses for their written comments and for their testimony at the hearing.
“Making sure that the voters are fully informed is one of my strong priorities,” Vice Chair Weintraub said.
The witnesses (with links to their or their organizations’ written comments) were, in order of appearance:
- Allen Dickerson, Legal Director, Institute for Free Speech
- Brendan Fischer, Director, Federal Reform, Campaign Legal Center
- Paul S. Ryan, Vice President, Policy & Litigation, Common Cause
- Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute
- Dave Grimaldi, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau
- Joseph Jerome, Policy Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology
- Young Mie Kim, Ph.D., Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin
- Berin Szóka, President, TechFreedom
- Dan Backer, Counsel, Coolidge-Reagan Foundation
- Victor E. Bernson, Jr., Vice President and General Counsel, Americans for Prosperity
- Craig Holman, Ph.D., Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen
- Ian Vandewalker, Senior Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice
- Christine Bannan, Administrative Law and Policy Fellow, Electronic Privacy Information Center
- Doug Hochberg, Chief Digital Officer, Republican National Committee
- Chris Nolan, Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Spot-On
- Theodore Peterson, Digital Director, NRCC
- Thomas Reiker, Deputy Digital Director, NRSC
- Carmen Scurato, Vice President, Policy & General Counsel, National Hispanic Media Coalition, on behalf, also, of Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Color of Change
The hearing record will remain open for additional written comments until mid-July.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.###