Tag Archives: McCain-Feingold Act

Message Approved

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act, includes a provision where political candidates, running for public office at the federal level, must identify their own political advertisements with the phrase, “I approve this message.”  This idea was intended to discourage candidates from running negative ads on television or radio.  However, when ads are produced and aired by outside organizations, such as interest groups or political parties, they acknowledge that their ads are not affiliated with any candidates or campaign committees.  In effect, the interest group or political party is letting the audience know that the ads are independent of any candidate.  Candidates for state office are not required to have an “approval” message included in their ads.

Does it matter to you if an ad is run by a candidate or by an outside political organization?  Did you even know there was a difference between the two?

Evaluating the Ads — Enyart vs. Bost

There is a lot going on here in this week’s “Evaluating the Ads” post.  For some perspective on the Congressional race in the 12th District of Illinois between first term Congressman Bill Enyart (D) and Illinois State Representative Mike Bost (R), please watch this video on an outburst Rep. Bost made in 2012 regarding the rules set forth by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Fast forward to 2014.  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running this ad targeting Bost.

Here is the response by Bost.

Please notice the difference in the two ads.  An ad that was paid for by the candidate’s team has to say, “I approve this message.”  This was a provision from the Bipartisan Campaign Act (McCain-Feingold) of 2002.  Any organization outside of a political campaign must declare that they are not affiliated with a campaign team.  Therefore, the ad that was run against Bost was not run by the Enyart campaign.  Bost’s ad was paid for by the Bost campaign.

If you were a voter in this race, how would you rate each ad?  Do you believe the DCCC’s ad is effective?  Do you believe Bost’s response was a strong one?

I Approve This Message

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act, includes a provision where political candidates, running for public office at the federal level, must identify their own political advertisements with the phrase, “I approve this message.”  This idea was intended to discourage candidates from running negative ads on television or radio.  However, when ads are produced and aired by outside organizations, such as interest groups or political parties, they acknowledge that their ads are not affiliated with any candidates or campaign committees.  In effect, the interest group or political party is letting the audience know that the ads are independent of any candidate.  Candidates for state office are not required to have an “approval” message included in their ads.

Here are two recent examples of candidates utilizing the phrase.  One ad is a positive.  The other is negative.

What is your opinion on the “I approve this message” provision?