PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee said last week that he will introduce a bill mandating full disclosure of previously unregulated political expenditures, an initiative that grew out of a collaborative effort between the governor’s office and Common Cause Rhode Island.
The bill, Transparency in Political Spending Act – or TIPS – is sponsored by Sen. Juan Pichardo, D-Providence, and Rep. Chris Blazejewski, D-Providence. According to a news release, the proposed legislation requires individuals and organizations that engage in “independent expenditures” and “electioneering communications” to report donors and expenditures to the R.I. State Board of Elections and to include disclaimers on media and Internet advertising.
An independent expenditure is defined as an expenditure that advocates for the election or defeat of a “clearly identified” candidate and is not coordinated with any candidate’s campaign, authorized candidate committee or political-party committee.
Electioneering communications are print, broadcast, cable, satellite or electronic media communications not coordinated with any candidate, authorized candidate committee or political-party committee that unambiguously identifies a candidate and is made within 60 days of a general or special election or within 30 days of a primary and can be received by 5,000 or more persons. •