Group Says that Sinclair Station Continues to Violate Ads Disclosure Rules

A group is claiming that Sinclairs WJLA is playing fast and loose with the rules when it comes to campaign ads.

The Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Sunlight Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alleging violations of long-standing rules and law by WJLA.

The complaint notes that WJLA continues to refuse to disclose the "true identity" of the sponsor of political ads being run by NextGen Climate Action Committee and asks for expedited action given that Election Day is just a few weeks away.

“Despite being warned that it was in violation of the law, WJLA continues to ignore the requirements to disclose on-air the ‘true identity’ of the funders of the political ads that the station is running.  The FCC must hold this station accountable for these knowing and wilful violations,” said Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy Director.  “WJLA is more than happy to receive top dollar to air these ads, but they do a great disservice to their viewers by refusing to reveal the donor behind them when his name is readily available and has even been provided to them by our organizations.  This is not ‘seven on your side;’ it’s ‘seven on the billionaires side.’” 

The groups filed a similar complaint earlier this month noting that WJLA was running ads with the on-air sponsorship disclaimer identifying the sponsor as "NextGen Climate Action Committee."  As the earlier "application for review" pointed out, substantial evidence showed that Tom Steyer has provided almost all of the funding for this organization, yet he was not identified on-air as the true sponsor of the commercials.

WJLA filed an opposition in response to the earlier complaint and has not yet responded to this new complaint filed.