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State watchdogs consider regulating campaigns’ electronic messages

October 19, 2009 | 12:42 pm

Between tweeting, YouTube videos and text messaging, the age of the Internet means political candidates now rely on more than snail mail to reach voters, and California's ethics watchdog agency is responding to the changing times.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission announced today it is launching a review to determine whether there is a need for more regulation of electronic communications in political campaigns. While the agency requires detailed disclosure of who sends a campaign mailer to homes, there is little in the way of regulation regarding those who might send their message electronically.

"Political campaigning has changed a great deal since the creation of the Political Reform Act, in 1974," Chairman Ross Johnson said, adding that a subcommittee has been formed to help the panel determine "if we should be doing more to help inform the public of who is paying to send out political messages.''

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

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