From: "Sean Cavanaugh" <>

To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(piac)

Date: 3/17/98 4:49am

Subject: Public Comment

I have seen a lot of letters demanding free air time to all people running

for public office. No one ever seems to suggest specifics or even similar

alternatives. It is hard to provide many restrictions due to the first

amendment, but enough other measures could probably be put into place that

it wouldn't be an issue. Here are a few suggestions:

1. For commercials: Each commercial must have a minimum of 1 minute air


2. For commercials: Each campaign ad must be hosted by the candidate, and

the candidate must appear in it.

3. For each advertisement purchased, all other candidates for the same

position must be given an equal amount of comparable air time.

4. For local/regional elections, each station must provide for at least 1

free debate period. However it is up to the candidates to appear. If only

one shows up, they get the airtime for themselves :) These need to be

regularly scheduled based on office type, location etc. So people know when

to tune in. Advertisement reminders for the upcoming debate should be

broadcast several days (weeks?) in advance. It should not occur at obscure

times. However, it should also be rebroadcast again later (obscure hours ok

this time).

5. As an alternative to debates (some officials are surely great in office

but not so good debaters) they could be granted interviews as part of an

evening news broadcast.

6. With digital technology it is quite possible to have commercials and

campaign ads co-exist and let the citizen choose which he wants to see when

a station cuts to commercial.

Thanks for your time,

- Sean Cavanaugh (

- Software Developer, Redmond, WA