Discuss: Do campaign TV ads move you to vote for one candidate over another?
You can't watch TV these days without being treated to political campaigns playing to your heart-strings or your wallet to persuade you to vote for their candidate.
Yes, it's worse this year. Not only is there a presidential campaign going on, but in Washington there are several key races on the ballot, including for governor, state attorney general and three open congressional seats. And then there is the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. xxx., that will open the floodgates for special interest money.
In Washington's 1st Congressional District, a weird quirk of an incumbent's resignation and redistricting, has two 1st District races on the ballot (the two-year term for the newly drawn district and the one-month term for the old district. But the fact that there are two races for the same seat allows candidates that file for both to race twice the amount of money.
The challenge for voters is sorting out the truth from the fiction, the bare-bones facts from the hysterical exagerration. And that's not so easy to do, but a new Federal Communications Commission decision might make it easier for campaign watchers to discern who is paying for what TV ads -- and analyze their motives. Now, network-affiliated stations in the nation's 50 top markets must upload electronic records of political ad buys onto a new FCC site -- a heartening step in the right direction.
Still, as Pro Publica reports, the new system has some limitations. You can't, so far, search by campaign or political action committee, for instance.
But still the new Website is a step in the right direction.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics