Introduced by Senator Shepard of Bennington District and Senator Wilton of Rutland District
Subject: Elections; political advertising; political action committees; disclosure
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require a political action committee to disclose the purpose of the political action committee in all political advertising which advocates for a candidate for office or for a political party. A political action committee and its officers can be fined for a failure to make this disclosure.
AN ACT RELATING TO POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE DISCLOSURE IN POLITICAL ADVERTISING
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 17 V.S.A. § 2882 is amended to read:
§ 2882. IDENTIFICATION
(a) All political advertisements shall contain the name and address of the person who paid for the advertisement. The advertisement shall clearly designate the name of the candidate, party, or political committee by or on whose behalf the same is published or broadcast. In the case of printed or written matter, the name and address shall be printed or written large enough to be clearly legible, except that this shall not apply to buttons or any written or printed matter attached to or displayed on any motor vehicle.
(b) A political advertisement paid for by a political action committee which advocates for or against a candidate or political party shall disclose the purpose of the political action committee. The purpose shall be stated in terms similar to those used by the political action committee for fundraising mailings, and the statement shall not exceed two sentences of reasonable length. A political action committee or its officers may be fined for failure to comply with this subsection. A fine shall equal the amount the committee spent advocating for a candidate or a political party multiplied by the number of candidates or parties in the race which the advertisement attempts to influence. Fine money collected shall be distributed to the campaigns of candidates or political parties not advocated for in the political advertisement. Candidates receiving fine money may spend the money on their campaigns or donate the money to any other candidate for any office within the state of Vermont in the current or next election cycle.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street