Campaign ads in California that ask voters to cast their ballot a certain way already must disclose who paid for them. But, until now, ads that did not include a specific recommendation for voting did not come with that disclosure requirement. Next month, that changes.
Dan Schnur is the Chairman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, the state's political watchdog agency. He says the distinction of those "magic words" such as "vote for" or "vote against" is an inadequate way to draw such an important line.
"If any reasonable person can determine that the purpose of an advertisement is to help or harm the potential election of a candidate, or passage or defeat of a ballot initiative, you need to make your donors public."
Schnur says he doesn't expect the content of political messages will change. He says California is the first state to enact such wide ranging regulations on campaign advertising.