State lawmakers are considering new disclosure requirements for groups that run advertising that closely resemble campaign ads. The Iowa Futures Fund ran commercials last fall criticizing the governor for increasing spending and providing tax breaks to Microsoft.
The ads did not urge voters to support or oppose Culver, so the Futures Fund was not required to disclose its donors. Senate president Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, says people ought to know who is paying for such ads. "I think anything we can do to get transparency in these elections, why we ought to be for that," Kibbie says.
The Iowa Campaign Disclosure Board proposed the legislation that requires groups to report donors if they spend more than $750 and run ads within 45 days of an election. Kibbie says there is some opposition.
"I know there’s some people that have a little heartburn about that bill -we’ll visit with them some more, Kibbie says, "by and large I think most people are in favor of it to get more transparency out there." The Iowa Civil Liberties Union opposes the bill on the grounds that it violates free speech laws.