Articles

28Mar

Alabama political polling sponsorship disclosure requirements advancing (S.B. 96)

The Alabama Senate passed S.B. 96, which would amend Section 17-5-16 of the Alabama Code to require “any communication via phone bank or other automated telephone dialing service to be conducted” with a “notice at the beginning and ending of the phone call that the communication was a paid political advertisement, clearly identifying the identification of the person, nonprofit corporation, entity, principal campaign committee, or political action committee that paid for such communication.” S.B. 96 would also require “Any live or recorded telephone call shall identify the name of the person calling and the candidate or campaign he or she is calling on behalf of.”

Although the bill lacks clear definitions, the restrictions would certainly apply to survey and opinion research calls in a political or public opinion context.

S.B. 96 would thus insert bias into research calls by forcing revelation of sponsorship, in addition to falsely labeling a research call as an advertisement.

MRA is working with the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) to either amend or defeat S.B. 96, to protect research in Alabama.

See the MRA/AAPC 1-page position paper.

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers. Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS. He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals. Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC). When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.

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