Rhode Island Bill to Mandate Disclosures and Disclaimers - State and Federal Communications

February 16, 2012  •  

Rhode Island Bill to Mandate Disclosures and Disclaimers

Gov. Lincoln Chafee
Governor Lincoln Chafee

This afternoon Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced the upcoming introduction of a bill requiring those engaged in “independent expenditures” and “electioneering communications” to report donors and expenditures and to include disclaimers on media and internet advertising.

The Governor’s bill, Transparency in Political Spending Act (TIPS), was created with legislative leaders and Common Cause Rhode Island.

The Governor’s press release detailing the bill defines “independent expenditure” is an expenditure that expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate and is not coordinated with any candidate’s campaign, authorized candidate committee or political party committee. “Electioneering communications” is defined as print, broadcast, cable, satellite, or electronic media communications not coordinated with any candidate, authorized candidate committee or political party committee which unambiguously identifies a candidate and is made within 60 days of a general or special election or within 30 days of a primary and can be received by 5,000 or more persons in the constituency.

Governor Chafee said, “[TIPS] seeks to [make] individuals and organizations trying to influence the outcome of an election accountable to the people of Rhode Island.” The collaboratively developed legislation was announced by the Governor with Common Cause Rhode Island’s Executive Director, John Marion, and the legislation’s sponsors: House Speaker Gordon Fox, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Senate President Pro Tempore Juan Pichardo, and Representative Chris Blazejewski.

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