“Ethical Perspectives on the News,” a public affairs program produced by the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County for KCRG-TV9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, tackled the impact of political advertising in its Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, show. IowaWatch participated.
When it comes to telling voters who is spending money on political ads, Iowa fails. It got an “F” in a recent study on state disclosure policies for political spending by independent groups, or groups not connected to political candidates. Iowa was among 25 other states that received failing grades. This kind of anonymous spending threatens the transparency of elections, said Arthur Sanders, a political science professor at Drake University. If a group spends $10,000 on ads, voters have no way of knowing where the $10,000 came from.