Q: What is the TIPA, exactly?
A: In a nutshell, the TIPA is a nonpartisan effort to restore integrity to the political process through the rating of campaign ads released by both major parties. The ads are rated for both fairness and accuracy by a diverse expert panel consisting of Republicans, Democrats, professors, newspapers, and advertising agencies among others. To our knowledge, this is the first effort of its kind to bring together such a diverse panel of reviewers.
Q: How does the TIPA review the ads?
A: By taking advantage of the latest Internet technology, the TIPA is able to submit new ads to its panel for immediate review by simply posting them on our Website. Once the panel has reviewed an ad, we release their findings to the public with an accuracy rating and a fairness rating. In this way, dozens of ads can be reviewed in a short amount of time, which gives the TIPA the ability to tangibly impact high-profile political races such as the nationally watched race for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat this November.
Q: What is unique about the TIPA effort?
A: There are several key points that distinguish the TIPA from other efforts. First is the fact that because of its nonpartisan nature, the TIPA can boldly and severely criticize all political ads that are false or misleading. Becuase our intent is to restore integrity to political advertising, no punches will be pulled. Our reviews will have real teeth, because we avoid the inherent conflict of interests that a commercial television station faces when reviewing the ads of their advertisers (e.g. the campaigns).
The second unique characteristic of the TIPA project is the use of the Internet to both quickly and thoroughly review many ads and thus rate the overall advertising integrity of each campaign. In this way voters can continually receive updated information on the behavior of each campaign, thus bringing a new level of accountability to the entire process.
Finally, the TIPA review panel consists of a highly diverse and accomplished group of political, academic, media and community experts from both sides of the aisle. This gives TIPA the unique advantage of being fully balanced in its reviews.
Q: Which political race is the TIPA currently monitoring?
A: During the 2004 election season, the TIPA is focusing its efforts on the U.S. Senate race in Colorado between Republican Pete Coors and Democrat Ken Salazar. Because this U.S. Senate contest could decide which party controls the United State Senate and the legislative agenda for the entire Congress for the next two years as well as which nominees get appointed for the U.S. Supreme Court and hundreds of federal judgeships, it already has and will continue to receive extraordinary national attention. This is a plus for the Project as it will be seen instantly on a national basis.
Q: What kind of impact does the TIPA expect to produce in real-world politics?
A: By bringing a new standard of accountability to political advertising, the TIPA expects to decrease false and unfair advertising on both sides of the aisle. This will allow voters to be more informed on the candidates' real positions on the real issues instead of the usual mudslinging we see now. In short, the TIPA strives to restore a level of integrity and dignity to the American political process that is sorely missing in modern times.