Hammoud Bill Would Increase Transparency in Election Ads

Campaign finance reform is focus of lawmaker’s first bill
Thursday, January 12, 2017

LANSING — State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) introduced House Bill 4036 today, which would amend the Michigan Campaign Finance Act to eliminate the designated disclosure period for issue advertisements, such as robocalls.

“In his opening speech, House Speaker Tom Leonard talked about the lack of civility in politics and elections and the need to improve this through positivity,” Hammoud said. “The purpose of my bill is to address concerns and frustrations of residents who are overwhelmed with robocalls during an election cycle.”

Under current law, the disclosure period is 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election. This bill would strike that window to always require disclosure with advertisements. Under the bill, advertisements by means of radio, television, mass mailing or prerecorded telephone message would be held to the same standards of disclosure.

“These advertisements are often full of negativity and provide no identification of sponsors. It makes no sense that sponsors are able to make these calls anonymously,” Hammoud said. “This is an issue of fairness. Campaign advertisements, regardless of medium, should be held to the same disclosure standards.”