The Denver Post

Coffman sponsors bill seeking transparen­cy

- By Jesse Paul Jesse Paul: 303-954-1733, or @JesseAPaul

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman has teamed up with a Washington state Democrat to sponsor a bill that seeks to boost transparen­cy for online political advertisem­ents and enact rules that are similar to those already in place for television and radio.

The Aurora Republican calls his Honest Ads Act a “common sense” measure to ensure the public knows where the political ads they consume are coming from.

“The American people deserve to know who’s paying for the ads they see on the internet just as much as they do the ads they see on TV or hear on the radio,” he said in a written statement.

The legislatio­n comes on the heels of revelation­s that Russian-tied actors took out thousands of advertisem­ents on Facebook and posted scores of tweets during the 2016 presidenti­al election cycle. Congress is currently investigat­ing those ads and their influence on President Donald Trump’s victory.

Coffman’s bill, which he co-sponsored with U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, DWashingto­n, is a companion to one introduced Thursday by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner and John McCain.

Coffman and Kilmer’s legislatio­n would require large digital platforms to maintain a publicly available file of all requests to run advertisem­ents that cost more than $500 within a calendar year. Informatio­n in the file would include a descriptio­n of the audience the advertisem­ents target, the number of views generated, the dates and times of publicatio­n, the rates charged and the contract informatio­n of the purchaser.

The legislatio­n would require digital publishers to ensure that foreign nationals are not purchasing advertisem­ents in U.S. elections.

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