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Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

House Democrats: Facebook 'Embeds' Could Break Campaign Finance Law

Apr 25, 2018
In The News

John Sarbanes of Maryland, Jerry Nadler of New York and Elijah Cummings of Maryland say Facebook's contribution of expertise to campaigns, to advise them on how best to use its platform, may create a too-cozy relationship between the company and lawmakers who might one day regulate it. The congressmen, in a letter Wednesday , ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a series of questions about how the company manages its so-called embed operation…. "Once the assistance they're offering or the support they're offering gets creative past a certain baseline of services, then you're wandering into dangerous territory," Sarbanes told POLITICO. Nadler and Cummings are ranking members of the Judiciary and Oversight committees, respectively…. Sarbanes said he wonders if Zuckerberg has a firm grasp of what his employees are doing out in the field in the final stretches of often heated campaigns. "You put some support person in a campaign office down South somewhere, and they're sitting next to a campaign operative, and you're getting into the last six weeks of a campaign, who knows what's going on?" he said. "So we're saying to them, 'Tell us what what's going on.'" … Sarbanes argues that Facebook has to be more transparent about the services it provides political campaigns. "If things are being offered that go beyond the standard opportunity presented in the marketplace broadly, then that's a cause for concern," Sarbanes said. "That's what we need to find out."