Public Comment

From:      Meg Atwater <>
To:        NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(piac)
Date:      12/1/97 12:55pm
Subject:   Public Comment

I am writing to urge you to require digital broadcasters to provide
substantial free TV time to candidates for public office.

With the current climate for campaign finance reform in America, and
Congress's unwillingness to improve a decaying system, where candidates
can amass huge campaign budgets, now is the time to boldly change the
history of American politics.

How?  Require broadcasters to provide free TV time to candidates.  The
American poeple own the airwaves, so it only makes sense that we should
benefit from timely, unbiased candidate information.  Airtime should be
linked to spending limits, to reduce the ability of rich candidates to
buy public office.  Also, free TV should require candidates to appear in
their own ads, and to speak for longer than a typical thirty second ad. 
I want to know what the candidate's stance on relative issues are, not
the national party's.  These longer, more informative ads would raise
the level of debate in local politics and engage, and possibly encourage
those watching to participate in governing America.
While broadcasters believe that they can't afford to allocate free TV
time for public purposes, but I don't believe that argument.  Have you
ever heard of a broadcasting company going bankrupt?  And I'm sure the
broadcasting companies would find a way to write-off the free TV time
from their taxes.

All I'm asking is for the broadcasters to make available a product that
is owned by Americans for use by potential leaders of the country to
inform the citizens about leadership choices.  By taking these steps,
the American people can begin to remove some of the influence peddling
which characterizes todays elections and vote leaders into positions of
power, not industry puppets.

I urge the Committee to support such a requirement, and look forward to
hearing your response.


Margaret Atwater
Margaret Atwater
Reference/Instruction Librarian
University of Evansville      phone:    812-479-2487
1800 Lincoln Avenue           fax: 812-471-6996
Evansville, IN  47722              email:

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