National: States try to combat election interference as Washington deadlocks | Evan Halper/ Los Angeles Times
With the White House and Congress paralyzed over how — or even whether — to act on intelligence agency warnings about foreign interference in U.S. elections, Maryland opted to take matters into its own hands. The state adopted transparency rules for political advertising on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere online. The pioneering move drew praise from election reformers as a blow against foreign meddling. Then came the backlash. And it wasn’t from Russia. Newspaper publishers hauled the state into federal court. The new rules ran afoul of the 1st Amendment and created burdens on media organizations that could push struggling local papers under, they protested. Even one of the world’s most vocal advocates for transparency, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, joined the objectors. Along with the Washington Post, Associated Press and others, they successfully blocked the state’s effort in federal court.