Tuesday, April 10 - Online Political Ad Disclosure / Defend Bail Reform in Cook County / Pledge to Rally if Trump Impedes Mueller Investigation

Actions You Can Take Today


Action 1: Mandate Online Political Ad Disclosure

Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify to Senate Judiciary Committee about the Cambridge Analytica data leak. He will answer questions on privacy, ad targeting, and the impact on our elections. One simple step in the right direction is to require social media platforms to disclose political ads with the Honest Ads Act, S. 1989/H.R. 4077.

Last fall, we learned that Russian operatives spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on political ads across Facebook, Twitter and Google to influence the outcome of the 2016 US elections. Because online political advertising is not currently covered by political ad disclosure regulations (unlike television, print, and radio advertising), these ads went undetected for over a year. Campaign advertising requirements have not been substantively updated since 2002, when Internet advertising was still in its early days. Consequently, the millions of American voters who were targeted by Russian political operatives were unaware of who was behind the political advertisements they were seeing, how they were being targeted, or the scope of Russian advertising influence on the electorate.

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA) and John McCain (R-AZ) introduced the bipartisan Honest Ads Act to update standards for political advertising and reduce the potential for foreign interference in future elections. The bill would mandate that all online ads include a disclosure statement identifying the ad as a political one. The bill would also require that platforms running online political ads build and maintain public databases of these ads. The databases would include images of ads as well as information about the buyer, linked organizations, cost, and targeting. Furthermore, online platforms would be required to make “all reasonable efforts” to ensure political ads are not being purchased by foreign citizens or governments, just as radio and television broadcasters must already do. The new rules would apply to online platforms with more than 50 million active users, organizations buying political ads with a total value of over $500, and ads for both specific candidates and for legislative issues of national importance.

The Honest Ads Act is not a sufficient standalone response to Russia's election interference in 2016, but it is a reasonable and necessary first step in safeguarding our democracy, informing our electorate, and ensuring campaign disclosure rules reflect the rapidly changing landscape of advertising and online media.

Call on your MoCs to support the Honest Ads Act today.

Call Senator Duckworth | DC: 202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506
Call Senator Durbin | DC: 202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952
Find your House rep’s contact info.
(It's easiest to find your rep's info and appropriate script in Amplify. Download and start using it)

Script: Hi, my name is {NAME} and I'm a constituent in the {ZIP CODE} and member of Indivisible.

Given the recent abuses on Facebook and other social media platforms, I’m calling to ask {PERSON} to support the Honest Ads Act [H.R. 4077 if House/S. 1989 if Senate]. Holding online political ads to the same standard as ads published through other media is a critical first step in safeguarding our democracy and preventing foreign interference in elections. Thank you so much for your time.

Action and script via 5calls.org


Action 2: Rall to Defend Bail Reform in Cook County

Thousands of people are locked up before trial simply because they are too poor to afford bail. Cook County has made progress in decreasing the number of people incarcerated before trial through Chief Judge Evans' affordable bail order, but Sheriff Tom Dart is attacking and defying this order. He has publicly spoken out against releasing people accused of violent crimes and gun possession, even though these defendants are innocent until proven guilty. And he has refused to release some defendants that judges have ordered released on electronic monitoring.

On April 12, a lawsuit is moving forward against Sheriff Dart for his inexcusable behavior in refusing to release defendants that judges have ordered released prior to trial. Join the Chicago Community Bond Fund, The People’s Lobby, and other organizations in supporting this lawsuit and defending bail reform from Sheriff Dart's attacks.

When: Thursday, April 12 from 8:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Where: 219 S. Dearborn St.
RSVP and share the event on Facebook


Action 3: Pledge to Rally if Trump Impedes Mueller Investigation

After the FBI raided his lawyer’s office and home yesterday, Donald Trump again implied that he is close to firing Robert Mueller or otherwise setting into motion plans to end the Mueller investigation.

Here's what we need you to do to help resist in the event that Trump sets off a constitutional crisis. Indivisible Chicago is planning to be part of a massive, national protest if Mueller is fired. We have over 5000 people signed up to join us at Federal Plaza if necessary.

If you haven't registered yet for the protest, please do so here.

It helps us know how many people to expect. If you haven't given us your cell number so we can text you if something happens, you can update your info here.

And finally, tell a friend. Have them register for the protest. On the day it happens and we get the news that Mueller has been fired, commit to texting 5 friends and telling them to get to Federal Plaza.

This is a big endeavor, and we are working to get a sound system to accommodate thousands of people. If you can chip in a little bit of money to help pay for it, it would be a big help.

The world will be watching our response to this event. We all hope Mueller isn't fired, but if he is we have to be prepared. Will we stand up to authoritarianism? Or will be roll over? I think I know the answer, and I think you do too. See you at Federal Plaza.

Daily Actions Editor