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I don't live in Pennsylvania, but I got this from ProPublica, the independent news service, today:

Pennsylvania: Help Keep TV Political Ads Transparent

I thought that since Kossacks have done such a great job spreading the word about Rush, that maybe this would be right up the alley of some Penn state Kossacks.

More below the fold:

Each TV station in the U.S. keeps a detailed record of who is buying political ads, how much the ads cost, and when they are airing. It’s public data, but so far it's been accessible only by physically visiting the station and asking to see “the public file.”

Since broadcasters are resisting a proposal to put the data online, we’re doing it for them. We need volunteers from each big TV market in Pennsylvania (see the table below) to visit the stations, make copies of the paper files, then scan and email them to us. We’ll help organize and post the disclosure documents on the web.

We still need volunteers to visit the stations during business hours. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes at the station, plus however long it takes to scan and email the files.

So far, more than 235 people nationwide have signed up but only six in Pennsylvania — and there are more than 25 stations to visit in six markets.

I think this is a great idea; we don't necessarily need to expose them on a national scale.  If we know who is buying what in just one state, we can assume that the same ads, or the same messages, will be bought by those same people elsewhere too.

Originally posted to La Gitane on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by State & Local ACTION Group.

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