In a letter sent to Senators today, 27 reform organizations and experts called on Senators to “to co-sponsor and support the Honest Ads Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner and John McCain, to address the need for new rules to expose efforts undertaken by foreign interests to intervene in U.S. elections.”
According to the letter:
The integrity of our elections and the protection of our democracy are at stake in effectively addressing the kinds of attacks on our political system carried out by Russia. Preventing a foreign adversary from sabotaging our constitutional system of representative government is a matter of the highest urgency.
The letter stated:
In order to address the problems involved here, two avenues need to be pursued. First, legislation is necessary to ensure that the American people are informed about online election-intervention activities taking place on the Internet, whether undertaken by Russia or by any other foreign interest seeking to interfere in our elections. The Honest Ads Act addresses this pressing need and, where possible, the need to prevent these activities.
Second, in addition to legislation, Facebook, Google, Twitter and other platforms that were used by the Russians have a critical role to play in solving this problem. These platforms were used to distribute fake and misleading political information to the American people. They need to recognize their corporate responsibility to play a lead role in exposing and, where possible, preventing these activities in the future.
The letter concluded:
Our organizations urge you to support and cosponsor the Honest Ads Act, and thereby to publicly commit to taking action to prevent Russia or any other foreign interest from intervening in or manipulating future U.S elections.
The reform organizations and experts signing the letter include:
Brennan Center for Justice
Campaign Legal Center
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for Responsive Politics
Coalition for Integrity
End Citizens United
Florida Consumer Action Network
Free Speech for People
League of Women Voters
Norm Eisen, chief White House ethics lawyer for President Obama, 2009-2011
People For the American Way
Revolving Door Project
Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for President Bush, 2005-2007
Small Planet Institute
Stand Up America