Political campaign advertisements; disclosure requirements. (HB1261)

Introduced By

Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patrons Del. Mark Sickles (D-Alexandria), Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), and Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Political campaign advertisements; disclosure requirements.  Provides that advertisements on the Internet that do not contain sufficient space to display the required disclosure statement may meet disclosure requirements by providing a direct link to another Internet site that displays the required disclosure statement. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/19/2010Presented and ordered printed 10103151D
01/19/2010Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/21/2010Assigned P & E sub: #1 Constitutional
02/04/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB1261)
02/10/2010Subcommittee failed to recommend reporting (3-Y 3-N)
02/16/2010Left in Privileges and Elections


Carol Lindstrom writes:

I am opposed to this bill because of the fact that it is possible that a broken link or a 'down' website could leave citizens with no way to get to and see the linked website. This information should be directly on the page where the advertisement is located. This is the only way to insure that what is 'seen' is clearly identified as to the source of the ad.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I sympathize with your concern, Carol, but it's just not practical or feasible to display disclosure statements. Google Ads, for instance, don't even provide enough characters for to fit the disclosure statement—and that would leave no room for the ad itself!

Connie Reed writes:

I agree totally with Carol Lindstrom's comments-
please people out there pay attention!!!

Carol Lindstrom writes:

If the media doesn't provide the room...then the media should not be used. Keeping citizens informed in a crucial part of good government. We still have far too many people who cannot or do not use the internet to be removing them from the information loop.If the media doesn't fit for one candidate, it won't fit for any of them. So, my solution, don't use Google ads. It seems far more honest to use sources where the disclosures can be provided than it does to take action that can remove information from citizens.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

But that's not really a solution, Carol. The overwhelming majority of internet advertisements are displayed via Google Ads, and they've become widely imitated. Text ads are a common, simple, near-ubiquitous form of online advertising. The current approach—an effective prohibition on this method of advertising—is awfully old-fashioned, and simply unrealistic. Del. Englin’s bill proposes a perfectly reasonable solution. After all, failing to maintain a webpage providing that disclosure would be a violation of the law, and punishable just as surely as failing to provide the disclosure now.