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Maryland To Require Companies To Post Election Spending Online

A bill awaiting the Maryland governor’s signature could serve as a template for national campaign finance laws that strengthen disclosure requirements, in light of last year’s Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited …

A bill awaiting the Maryland governor’s signature could serve as a template for national campaign finance laws that strengthen disclosure requirements, in light of last year’s Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited spending.

Full disclosure of who is paying for what is the main focus these days for reformers who worry that massive, secret spending inevitably leads to corruption and scandal. The Maryland bill is notable because it requires companies to disclose independent campaign expenditures not only to the government, but also to the general public — and specifically to their shareholders and consumers.

The bill (here’s a plain-English summary) requires any organization that spends money on campaign advertising in a state-level election to post on its website “a hyperlink from its homepage to the Internet site where the entity’s independent expenditure or electioneering communication report information is publicly available.”

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