The city council passed two pieces of legislation on Thursday that will require more transparency on who pays for political candidates’ campaign ads.
The bills, sponsored by Council members Dan Garodnick and Brad Lander, require candidates for city office to disclose that their campaign ads were paid for or authorized by the candidate, and for outside groups who pay for campaign ads to disclose their three biggest donors, as well as the group’s chief executive officer.
The council will also set up a new website, nyc.gov/FollowTheMoney, which will display data on the groups and their donors. Campaign advertisements would be required to direct the viewer or listener to the new website.
“If your name is on the ballot, you have to own up to your communications,” said Council member Garodnick at a press conference prior to the council’s vote.
Council member Lander pointed out that in the most recent election season for city council seats, funding from many outside groups surpassed the candidate’s own spending. Some hid under vague names such as Jobs For New York and United for the Future.