The state Government Accountability Board approves new regulations for political "issue ads" in Wisconsin. They're those "attack ads" you get tired of hearing every election cycle. "They are very negative, and they have a connotation, but because they avoided using the so-called 'magic words,' they escaped regulation, says Jay Heck with Common Cause in Wisconsin.
Heck says the new requirements mean we may hear fewer of these ads. "You're going to find, I think, a lot of people of people who happy to contribute anonymously to these nasty ad very reluctant to have their names attached to the types communications that we've seen in the past," says Heck.
Issue ads would be subject to the same reporting requirements as ads run by political campaigns under this proposed rule, which has support at the Capitol. "The Speaker of the Assembly, Mike Sheridan and the Senate Majority Leader, Russ Decker, have said they are very supportive of this measure, as has the governor," notes Heck. "It would appear this should be able to survive legislative scrutiny." Heck says a court challenge is likely, but he notes similar federal regulations have survived two challenges in the U.S. Supreme Court.