senate Bill S1921

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires entities advertising for political purposes to disclose in such advertisements the source thereof

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to elections
Jan 09, 2013 referred to elections

Co-Sponsors

S1921 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง14-107, El L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1566
2009-2010: S7479A

S1921 - Bill Texts

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Requires entities advertising for or against political candidates, ballot proposals, amendments, or such proceedings to disclose in such advertisements the source thereof; trade associations must disclose top 3 contributors; defines trade association.

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BILL NUMBER:S1921

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to the
disclosure of sources for political advertisements

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that the public is fully
informed of the sources of political advertisements in support of or in
opposition to a candidate, or a ballot proposal or constitutional amend-
ment, in order to prevent the sponsors of such communications from
concealing their interests in the outcome by acting through third
parties, such as trade associations.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Adds a new election law section Sec. 14-107, which defines
independent expenditures and those affected by the bill, such as trade
associations, and requires that whenever a person or trade association
makes an independent expenditure of more than one thousand dollars for a
political advertisement or other communication to the general public,
the one paying for it must be identified, and the communication must
state that it is not authorized by the candidate or his or her commit-
tee. If the sponsor is a trade association, it must disclose its three
largest contributors since January first of the year in which the adver-
tisement is published, and, if the advertisement is made with respect to
a presidential primary race, it must disclose the three largest contrib-
utors since July first of the year before the primary. Willful violation
of these provisions is punishable by a civil penalty of up to $1,000 or
the cost of the communication, whichever is greater, and the attorney
general is given concurrent jurisdiction with district attorneys to
prosecute such offenses.

Section 2: Provides that the Act takes effect immediately.

EXISTING LAW: None.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill is a response to the decision of the U.S.
Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election commission, which
effectively eliminated restrictions on corporations' ability to spend
corporate treasury funds in support of or in opposition to political
candidates, political parties and ballot issues. Disclosure of corporate
funding of political advertising is viewed by many as at least a partial
solution, as it will empower the press to investigate the interests
being served by the political advertising, and allow the public to make
informed decisions regarding the weight to be given to such advertising.
Because recent statements by some corporate leaders have indicated that
they would try to hide their political expenditures by contributing to
trade associations that could buy political advertisements without
disclosing the source of their funding, this bill requires that such
trade associations disclose in any such advertisements their three larg-
est contributors.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.7479 - Advanced to Third Reading Calendar.
2011-2012: S.1566 - Referred to Elections.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill is effective immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1921

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. ADDABBO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

AN ACT to amend the election law,  in  relation  to  the  disclosure  of
  sources for political advertisements

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The election law is amended by adding a new section  14-107
to read as follows:
  S  14-107.  INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE REPORTING. 1. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS
SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  (A) (I) "INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE" SHALL MEAN AN EXPENDITURE MADE BY  A
PERSON  FOR AN AUDIO OR VIDEO COMMUNICATION TO A GENERAL PUBLIC AUDIENCE
VIA BROADCAST, CABLE OR SATELLITE OR A WRITTEN COMMUNICATION TO A GENER-
AL PUBLIC AUDIENCE VIA  ADVERTISEMENTS,  PAMPHLETS,  CIRCULARS,  FLYERS,
BROCHURES,  LETTERHEADS OR OTHER PRINTED MATTER AND STATEMENTS OR INFOR-
MATION CONVEYED TO FIVE HUNDRED OR MORE  MEMBERS  OF  A  GENERAL  PUBLIC
AUDIENCE  BY  COMPUTER  OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHICH: (A) EXPRESSLY
ADVOCATES THE ELECTION OR DEFEAT OF A CLEARLY  IDENTIFIED  CANDIDATE  OR
THE SUCCESS OR DEFEAT OF A BALLOT PROPOSAL OR AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITU-
TION  OF  THE  STATE OF NEW YORK AND (B) SUCH CANDIDATE, THE CANDIDATE'S
POLITICAL COMMITTEE OR ITS AGENTS, OR A POLITICAL  COMMITTEE  FORMED  TO
PROMOTE  THE  SUCCESS  OR DEFEAT OF A BALLOT PROPOSAL OR ITS AGENTS, DID
NOT AUTHORIZE, REQUEST, SUGGEST, FOSTER OR COOPERATE IN ANY SUCH  COMMU-
NICATION.
  (II) INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES SHALL NOT INCLUDE:
  (A)  A COMMUNICATION APPEARING IN A WRITTEN NEWS STORY, COMMENTARY, OR
EDITORIAL  DISTRIBUTED  THROUGH  THE  FACILITIES  OF  ANY   BROADCASTING
STATION,  CABLE  OR  SATELLITE UNLESS SUCH PUBLICATION OR FACILITIES ARE
OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY  ANY  POLITICAL  PARTY,  POLITICAL  COMMITTEE  OR
CANDIDATE; OR

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04491-01-3

S. 1921                             2

  (B) A COMMUNICATION THAT CONSTITUTES A CANDIDATE DEBATE OR FORUM; OR
  (C) A COMMUNICATION WHICH CONSTITUTES AN EXPENDITURE MADE BY AN ENTITY
REQUIRED TO REPORT SUCH EXPENDITURE WITH A BOARD OF ELECTIONS.
  (B)  "PERSON" SHALL MEAN A PERSON, GROUP OF PERSONS, ENTITY, ORGANIZA-
TION OR ASSOCIATION.
  (C) "TRADE ASSOCIATION" SHALL MEAN  AN  ENTITY  HAVING  AS  A  PRIMARY
PURPOSE  THE  PROMOTION,  ADVANCEMENT  OR SELF-REGULATION OF BUSINESSES,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO A CORPORATION, UNINCORPORATED  ASSOCIATION,
PARTNERSHIP,  TRUST  OR  LIMITED  LIABILITY COMPANY, WHETHER OR NOT SUCH
ENTITY IS ORGANIZED FOR PROFIT, NOT-FOR-PROFIT, BUSINESS OR NON-BUSINESS
PURPOSES.
  2. WHENEVER ANY PERSON  OR  TRADE  ASSOCIATION  MAKES  AN  INDEPENDENT
EXPENDITURE  THAT COSTS MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN THE AGGREGATE,
SUCH COMMUNICATION SHALL  CLEARLY  STATE  WHO  PAID  FOR,  OR  OTHERWISE
PUBLISHED  OR  DISTRIBUTED, THE COMMUNICATION AND STATE, WITH RESPECT TO
COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING  CANDIDATES,  THAT  THE  COMMUNICATION  IS  NOT
AUTHORIZED  BY ANY CANDIDATE, ANY CANDIDATE'S POLITICAL COMMITTEE OR ANY
OF ITS AGENTS.  A KNOWING AND WILLFUL VIOLATION  OF  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL  SUBJECT  THE  PERSON OR TRADE ASSOCIATION TO A
CIVIL PENALTY EQUAL TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR THE COST OF THE  COMMUNI-
CATION,  WHICHEVER  IS  GREATER, IN A SPECIAL PROCEEDING OR CIVIL ACTION
BROUGHT BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS.  ANY ADVERTISEMENT PAID FOR  BY
A  TRADE  ASSOCIATION SHALL DISCLOSE THE THREE CONTRIBUTORS WHO CONTRIB-
UTED THE MOST MONEY IN THE AGGREGATE TO SUCH TRADE ASSOCIATION SINCE THE
FIRST OF JANUARY OF THE YEAR IN WHICH THE  ADVERTISEMENT  IS  PUBLISHED,
PROVIDED  FURTHER,  THAT  IF THE ADVERTISEMENT IS MADE WITH RESPECT TO A
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY RACE, THEN IT  SHALL  DISCLOSE  THE  TRADE  ASSOCI-
ATION'S  THREE  LARGEST CONTRIBUTORS IN THE AGGREGATE SINCE THE FIRST OF
JULY OF THE YEAR PRIOR TO SUCH PRIMARY.
  3. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW,  THE  ATTORNEY  GENERAL
SHALL  HAVE  CONCURRENT  JURISDICTION  WITH ANY DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN THE
PROSECUTION OF ANY OFFENSES UNDER THIS  SECTION  RELATING  TO  DECEPTIVE
PRACTICES AS WELL AS ANY OFFENSES ARISING OUT OF SUCH PROSECUTION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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