New Tool Allows Californians To Report Campaign Ads That Don't Disclose Donors

Oct 5, 2018

With the election only a month away, campaign flyers, TV ads, and billboards will start to pile up.

This week California Fair Political Practices Commission introduced AdWATCH, a tool for the public to identify ads that violate campaign law.

The California Disclose Act requires mailers, lawn signs, billboard, TV and radio, and internet ads to show who’s paying for political advertising. FPCC Spokesman Jay Wierenga said the tool helps the public report the ad if the proper information isn’t listed.

“Items like who’s paying for it, which campaign committees, who’s supporting, basically people who are behind the payment of these campaign ads, make sure each of these things has the proper disclosure on it,” he said.

People can go use AdWATCH to upload a picture, video, or internet link which they feel might violate the law. Wierenga said the commission isn’t censoring the statements or deciding if the ads are truthful, only that they are following the law.

“We don’t look at the content; obviously that’s a free speech thing and we’re not here to say that people are telling the truth or lying in their campaign ads," said Wierenga. "We’re there to basically make sure that the public gets the disclosure information that they deserve.”