California FPPC’s Ann Ravel Backs Off Blogger Campaign Disclosure

California FPPC Chairwoman Ann Ravel

California FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) Chairperson Ann Ravel is backing off her proposal to regulate political bloggers.

The director of California’s political watchdog agency is shelving her proposal to require bloggers to disclose payments they receive from political campaigns.

Chairwoman Ann Ravel of the Fair Political Practices Commission said she remains committed to holding public debate on mandatory disclosure with the hope that a plan could emerge in the future.

Ravel said she wants to seek voluntary disclosure by bloggers for the November election, but conceded, “I don’t think there’s going to be a large amount.”

She said she may ask the FPPC to consider requiring political candidates to publicize any money they pay to bloggers and link to that information on their websites.

Candidates already are required to disclose payments to bloggers as a campaign expenditure, but the information typically is contained in a long list of expenses and is easily overlooked by voters.

Just as I thought, the proposal has too many complications with free speech issues vs. mandatory blogger disclosure.

Voluntary disclosure will go nowhere.

Political journalists will just have to dig through the candidate’s campaign reports if they want the information.