By Jerry Cornfield
The three-member Federal Communication Commission acted today to make it easier to find out how much candidates are spending on television ads in the biggest media markets, including Seattle.
Commissioners decided television stations must post online the content of their political files which detail campaign ad spending. The information is to be put in a single database accessible through the FCC web site. These files, now kept on paper, track the amount of money paid out on ads by candidates and political action committees.
What the FCC is aiming for is something like the searchable database of campaign contributions available through Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission.
The FCC ruling affects stations affiliated with NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox in the top 50 Designated Market Areas.