cr> Craig on Dole (fwd)


Richard Moore

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996
>From: "Craig A. Johnson" <•••@••.•••>
To: Multiple recipients of list <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Dole on Spectrum Give-Away, Please Explain

On 12 Jan 96 at 9:53, William J. Drake wrote:
> > Cong Rec S135 (daily ed. Jan 10, 1995)
> [snip]
> I would be very interested if anyone has any good inside info on how
> Dole came to this position, particularly this late in the game.  All
> last year, Republicans were cheerily preparing to hand the
> broadcasters free spectrum, and now at the 11th hour one of their
> nominal leaders is attacking the deal and slowing the bill.

Not quite accurate Bill.  Pressler made noises periodically last year
about auctioning spectrum for ATV, and the NAB and MSTV engaged in
some heavy lobbying, after which he eased off the issue.

As for Dole, it's not all that complicated.  There's not a Washington
snowball's chance in hell that the telecom bill will be appreciably
delayed due to Dole's utterances.  It's a sop to McCain and
right-wing Republicans who want to sell every chunk of spectrum they
can get their hands on to raise revenue.  It's also a game piece Dole
can use in the budget battle.  But let's not mistake politics for

> Is this
> just part of his general bash-the-broadcasters appeal to the
> religious right?

Basically, no.  Dole is sitting pretty with most broadcasters, and
his flank is covered on the "indecency" thing by his backing of the
Net censorship provision and the cable provisions in the bill, as
well as his sponsorship of the Grassley-Dole bill on "protecting
minors" or some such gibberish.

> Is there significant behind-the-scenes pressure
> coming from other affected industries?  Republicans have been
> decidedly selective in their attacks on corporate welfare, so a
> coherent principled commitment to end it seems an implausible
> explanation.  Even less plausible, I'd think a priori (correct me
> if I'm wrong), would be that he has somehow been swayed by public
> interest groups' criticisms of these provisions.

You're right on the last two counts.  This has little to do with any
Republican "attacks on corporate welfare," much less that Dole has
suddenly lent an ear to consumer interest groups.  Politics of course
is driving this apparent surprise move by Dole.  Dole wants his
fingerprints on the telecom bill, in case he accidentally gets
elected President. And yes, there is some industry pressure to move
in a certain direction, but I can't tell you everything in the first
message.  It's someone else's turn.

How about a thread on this?  This group could use a real discussion
of some sort.

Suffice to say, Dole suddenly did not get religion.

Please let's not delude ourselves into thinking that a provision for
auctioning the ATV spectrum will be written into the telecom bill.
It ain't gonna happen folks.


Craig A. Johnson
Telecommunications/Information Policy Specialist
Transnational Data Reporting Service, Inc.


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.