[Hpn] AUCTIONING AIRWAVES

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Thu, 29 Jun 2000 15:57:22 -0700


Media Democracy Now!

Protest the National Association of Broadcasters Convention
Moscone Center
San Francisco
September 20-23, 2000
More info at: http://www.mediademocracynow.org

***Please note***
the article below was written in 1996

http://www.opensecrets.org/alerts/v2/alrtv2n06.htm

CLOSEUP: AUCTIONING AIRWAVES. On March 14, the Senate Budget Committee
will hold a hearing on whether the government should auction sections of
the broadcast spectrum, estimated to be worth anywhere from $11 billion
to $70 billion, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The
House and Senate Commerce Committees plan hearings on the issue later
this month.

Broadcasters want access to the spectrum free of charge. Their push to
include such a provision in the telecommunications bill nearly sank the
legislation. Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) threatened to oppose the bill unless
the spectrum issue was put off.

Telecommunications advocacy groups, such as Center for Media Education
and the Media Access Project, favor auctions, arguing that to give the
spectrum away would amount to a "huge gift" to the industry. Some
contend that broadcasters should, at the very least, meet public service
obligations such as providing space to children's programming or low
cost public access.

The National Association of Broadcasters counters that TV "operates in
the public interest. It is universal...Television is more common in
America than indoor plumbing."

Broadcasters are generous campaign contributors, giving congressional
candidates $871,115 in PAC and large individual donations ($200+) in the
first half of 1995, 69 percent to the GOP. Of this, $105,400 went to
members of the Senate Commerce Committee and another $44,715 to Senate
Budget Committee members. In addition, President Clinton, who does not
take PAC money, collected $56,100 in individual contributions from
broadcasters from January through September 1995.

Broadcast interests are also big soft money donors. In 1995, they
distributed $721,800 to party committees in soft money, 53 percent to
Republicans.



Top Senate Recipients of Broadcast Donations*,

PACs and Individuals ($200+), January - June 1995

Rank	Senator			Next Election		Total

1	Larry Pressler (R-SD),
	Chairman Commerce Cmte	1996		$58,250

2	Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-NY)	1998		$23,500

3	Bob Dole (R-Kan)		1998		$19,500

4	Ted Stevens (R-Alaska),
	Commerce Cmte.		1996		$11,500

5	Pete V. Domenici (R-NM),
	Chairman Budget Cmte.		1996		$10,000

6	John W. Warner (R-Va)		1996		$9,400

7	Max Baucus (D-Mont)		1996		$9,000

7	Fred Thompson (R-Tenn)		1996		$9,000

8	Strom Thurmond (R-SC)		1996		$8,000

9	William S. Cohen (R-Maine)	retiring		$7,500

10	Mitch McConnell (R-Ky)		1996		$7,000

*Includes contributions affiliated with Natl. Assn. of Broadcasters,
Time Warner, Paramount, Viacom, Fox, Walt Disney and ABC, General
Electric and NBC, Westinghouse and CBS.


Broadcast Soft Money Donations, January - December 1995

Donor			Repubs		Dems		Total

Time Warner*		$200,000		$86,000		$286,000

General Electric* 	$89,800		$63,750		$153,550
(NBC)

Walt Disney* and ABC*	$25,000		$93,000		$118,000

Viacom International Inc.	$40,000		$75,000		$115,000

Westinghouse		$25,000		$20,000		$45,000
Electric Corp. (CBS)

National Assn.of
Broadcasters*		$4,000		$250		$4,250


*Total came from more than one subsidiary affiliated with this group.
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Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
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