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Statham: Free Airtime is a ‘Vanity Tax’

Statham: Free Airtime is a 'Vanity Tax'

The president of the California Broadcasters Association says the latest free airtime proposal is constitutionally dangerous and creates a bureaucratic nightmare of determining which politicians get the free airtime.
Stan Statham said the proposal “solves a problem most voters don’t think exists, takes away some of free time that now goes to local charities and costs the American consumer money.”
He wrote the comments in an opinion piece that will appear in Radio World newspaper.
This week, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Russell Feingold, D-Wis. and Robert Torricelli, D-N.J. as well as Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass. unveiled elements of a bill that they said would reduce the cost and increase the flow of campaign communication on television and radio stations.
Statham wrote, “McCain and his reform rough riders argue that the public is clamoring for this new subsidy and that stations should donate free airtime as a public service. However, poll after poll shows that you would prefer to get your information about political races from broadcast newscasts and candidate debates rather than 30-second commercials.”
Info on the Free Airtime proposal: