Political Broadcasts - Regulate or Deregulate?

R e p o r t No. 84-29 POLIT ICAL BROADCASTS--REGULATE S OR DEREGULATE? E l i z a b e t h Yadlosky Senior Specialist (Elect ion ~ a w ) and Pamela E s p e n s h a d e Research A s s i s t a n t March 2 , 1984 T h e Congressional Research Service works exclusively for the Congress, conducting research, analyzing legislation, and providing information at the request of committees. Members, and their staffs. T h e Service makes such research available, without partisan bias, in many forms including studies, reports, compilations, digests, and background briefings. Upon request, CRS assists committees in analyzing legdative p-oposals and issues, and in assessing the possible effects of these proposals and their alternatives. T h e Service's senior specialists and subject analysts are also available for personal consultations in their respective fields of expertise. ABS TRACT This r e p o r t examines t h e v a r i o u s i s s u e s r a i s e d i n c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f whether t h e i n t e r e s t s of t h e c a n d i d a t e s , t h e e l e c t o r a t e a d t h e b r o a d c a s t e r s a r e b e s t served by r e p e a l i n g o r modifying e x i s t i n g laws t h a t r e g u l a t e p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s , o r by l e a v i n g t h e law unchanged. Current a p p l i c a b l e law, proposals for change i n t h a t law, and l e g a l and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l issues a r e discussed. The r e g u l a t i o n of p r e s i d e n t i a l d e b a t e s i s covered i n some d e t a i l t o i l l u s t r a t e many of t h e i s s u e s i n v o l v e d . CRS-v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page .................................................................... P o l i c y C o n s i d e r a t i o n s .................................................... Importance Of P o l i t i c a l B r o a d c a s t s ....................................... Issue Why R e c o n s i d e r F e d e r a l Law R e g u l a t i n g P o l i t i c a l B r o a d c a s t s A t T h i s Time? ....................................................... The General O b j e c t i v e s Of The F e d e r a l Communications Act With R e s p e c t To P o l i t i c a l B r o a d c a s t s ............................................. Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s ( E q u a l Time) ......................................... F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e ........................................................ P e r s o n a l A t t a c k Rule ..................................................... P o l i t i c a l E d i t o r i a l Rule ................................................. R a t e s Charged To C a n d i d a t e s .............................................. Access To Media .......................................................... C a n d i d a t e Debates ........................................................ R e l a t e d Developments ..................................................... B r o a d c a s t I n d u s t r y S e l f - R e g u l a t i o n ....................................... F i n a n c i n g D e b a t e s ........................................................ C o n s t i t u t i o n a l I s s u e s .................................................... P r o p o s a l s To Amend Law ................................................... C a t e g o r y #1 . C a t e g o r y #2 Proposal: D e r e g u l a t e A l l O r Most A s p e c t s Of Programming Of Radio S t a t i o n s ........................................ Repeal E n t i r e l y O r To A Limited Degree Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s Requirements ............................ Repeal The Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s And F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e s And E l i m i n a t e The Lowest U n i t Charge For P o l i t i c a l A d v e r t i s i n g ........................... Proposal: Adopt A T h r e e - s t e p Phase-out Requirement Of E x i s t i n g ......................................... Page Do Not Repeal F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e O r Reasonable Access P r o v i s i o n s Proposal: C a t e g o r y H3. ................................... P r o v i d e I n Law For Treatment Of T h i r d P a r t y And Independent C a n d i d a t e s ............................ Proposal : C a t e g o r y #4. Amend Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s (Equal Time) Requirement s With Respect To C a n d i d a t e E l i g i b i l i t y And Amount Of Time By E s t a b l i s h i n g E l i g i b i l i t y And Amount Of TV Time By Using A Formula.. P r o v i d e I n Law For Proposal: ........................ S p o n s o r s h i p Of D e b a t e s . ............ 27 Amend Sec. 315 To P r o v i d e B i p a r t i s a n P o l i t i c a l Party sponsorship 28 Amend Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s (Equal Time) Requirement s To S p e c i f y I n Law Who I s To S e t R u l e s F o r D e b a t e s . . . 28 ............... 29 Proposal: E s t a b l i s h A F e d e r a l Debate Commission Proposal : P r o v i d e F o r S p o n s o r s h i p Of Debates By U. S. S e n a t e O r House Of R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s A s An I n s t i t u t i o n O r By P a r t y Caucuses O f E i t h e r H o u s e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C a t e g o r y 415. Proposal: T i g h t e n P r o v i s i o n s P r o h i b i t i n g F o r e i g n Ownership Of TV O r Cable Systems ................................... Amend The Law To P r o h i b i t T e l e v i s i o n O r C a b l e T e l e v i s i o n Systems Which Are Owned By F o r e i g n E n t i t i e s From S p o n s o r i r ~D e b a t e s B e t e e n C a n d i d a t e s For P u b l i c O f f i c e ................................... Category # 6 . Proposal: 27 Amend Sec. 315 To P r o v i d e That P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates May Be Sponsored By T e l e v i s i o n Networks.. ................................... Proposal : 24 27 ........... Proposal: 24 Amend Sec. 3 1 5 , Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s ( E q u a l ~ i m e ) Requirements, To P r o v i d e That P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates Have Nonpart isan--Nonprof i t S p o n s o r s h i p . ............ Proposal: 23 Amend F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act P r o v i s i o n s A p p l i c a b l e To F i n a n c i n g D e b a t e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P r o v i d e I n Law For F i n a n c i n g Of D e b a t e s . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 29 29 30 30 Page Category # 7 . S p e c i a l P r o v i s i o n s For Candidate Access To Broadcast M e d i a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . Proposal: Provide Access To Broadcast Media To O f f s e t Broadcasts Paid For By Independent E x p e n d i t u r e s . . Proposal: Provide P u b l i c Financing For Some O r A l l P o l i t i c a l Advertising.. Proposal : Postpone F e d e r a l Communications Commission' s Proposal To E l i m i n a t e Personal A t t a c k And Political Editorial Rules........................... Proposal : I n s t e a d Of "Debates" Give 90 Minutes Of TV Time To Each Candidate Proposal: Expand The Public Forum Of The P r e s i d e n t i a l Election Contest.................................... Proposal: S p e c i f y I n The Law The Number Of D e b a t e s . . . . . . . . . . . . Proposal: S p e c i f y The Format To Be U s e d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Proposal: P r o h i b i t Broadcast L i c e n s e e s From Refusing To S e l l A d v e r t i s i n g Time For Paid E d i t o r i a l s . . Proposal : Amend The Communications Act Of 1934 To C l a r i f y That The S t a t u t o r y Right Of Candidates To Have Access To Broadcasting S t a t i o n F a c i l i t i e s Does Not Exempt Any Candidate From Criminal Law Prov i s i o n s Regarding Broadcasting Of Obscene M a t t e r . . . . Proposal: P r o h i b i t P o l i t i c a l Ads I n Last 30 Days Of Campaign.. ... ............................. ................................... Proposal : Require B r o a d c a s t e r s To Provide F r e e Time.. ......... Category #8. Miscellaneous P r o p o s a l s . . ............................. Sumary. .............. ................................................................. The D i f f e r e n c e I n Approach Taken By F e d e r a l Communications omm mission From That Taken By The F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission With Respect To P o l i t i c a l Debates.. ............................ The Somet hues C o n f l i c t i n g R i g h t s And Burdens On B r o a d c a s t e r s Vis-A-Vis The R i g h t s And Burdens On t h e C a n d i d a t e s . . . . . . . . . , . Appendix A .. ............................................................. POLITICAL BROADCASTS--REGULATE OR DEREGULATE? ISSUE . The i s s u e c e n t r a l t o t h i s r e p o r t i s what c o n t r i b u t i o n , i f any, t h e F e d e r a l law c a n make t o c r e a t e and m a i n t a i n t h e b e s t environment f o r p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s . "Best", t h a t i s , f o r t h e c a n d i d a t e s , t h e e l e c t o r a t e and t h e b r o a d c a s t e r s . Should t h e F e d e r a l l a w now be l e f t unchanged o r a m n d e d with r e s p e c t t o e i t h e r b r o a d c a s t i n g c o n t r o l s o r t o t h e f i n a n c i n g of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s and i f so, how might t h i s b e done? S i n c e b r o a d c a s t d e b a t e s between p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s a r e now a prime t o p i c of i n t e r e s t , t h e r e g u l a t i o n of such d e b a t e s i s d i s c u s s e d i n some d e t a i l n o t o n l y b e c a u s e i t i s a t o p i c of i n t e r e s t i t s e l f , b u t a l s o b e c a u s e i t i l l u s t r a t e s many of t h e i s s u e s r a i s e d i n a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of r e g u l a t i o n o f p o l i t i c a l broadcasting generally. The v a r i o u s p l a y e r s who a r e , o r may b e , i n v o l v e d i n p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s and whose i n t e r e s t s may be a f f e c t e d by a F e d e r a l law i n c l u d e : the candidates the candidates' supporters the candidates' detractors p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s supporting candidates t h e broadcasters t h e voters--the public p r i v a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n s , p r o f i t o r n o n p r o f i t , which m i g h t a r r a n g e political broadcasts c o r p o r a t i o n s and o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s which m i g h t p r o v i d e funding for broadcasts l o b b y i n g and s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t g r o u p s which m i g h t s p o n s o r b r o a d c a s t s t h e F e d e r a l Communications Commission and t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission which m i g h t r e g u l a t e a s p e c t s of f i n a n c i n g of b r o a d c a s t s t h e Congress which might c o n s i d e r new l e g i s l a t i o n with r e s p e c t t o p o l i t i c a l broadcasts POLICY CONSIDERATIONS What i s t h e a p p r o p r i a t e r o l e of each of t h e s e p l a y e r s , and who i s t o d e f i n e I s i t i n t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t t o l e a v e t h e law and p r a c t i c e a s i t i s , the roles? o r would t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t be b e t t e r s e r v e d by r e p e a l i n g o r m o d i f y i n g t h e e x i s t i n g laws t h a t r e g u l a t e p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t i n g such a s S e c t i o n 315 of t h e F e d e r a l Communications A c t , t h e s o - c a l l e d "equal time" r e q u i r e m e n t ? IMPORTANCE OF POLITICAL BROADCASTS P o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s o f f e r a n o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t h e p u b l i c t o make a more informed judgment about t h e c a n d i d a t e s i n a d d i t i o n t o p r o v i d i n g m a t e r i a l f o r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by t h e media, a s i n t h e c a s e of c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s . Network TV c o v e r s e l e c t i o n e v e n t s w i t h a n a t i o n a l o u t l o o k , r a t h e r t h a n t h e more l i m i t e d community f o c u s o f l o c a l TV and newspapers, and broadens t h e scope of i n f o r m a t i o n t h e e l e c t o r a t e r e c e i v e s about c a n d i d a t e s and i s s u e s . -11 Some believe that t e l e v i s i o n p r o v i d e s t h e forum i n which p r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n s a r e now d e c i d e d ; t h a t t h e outconre of p r e s i d e n t i a l p r i m a r i e s and g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s i s d e t e r m i n e d - l a r g e l y by network t e l e v i s i o n c o v e r a g e . 2/ O t h e r s p l a c e r a d i o , n o t TV, a s t h e most i n f l u e n t i a l news and i n f o r m a t i o n - medium. 31 1983. Richard -1/ pp. Rubin, 684-686. L., Mass Media and P r e s i d e n t i a l S e l e c t i o n , PS F a l l 2/ Barrow, Roscoe L., The P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates Of 1976: Toward A Two ~ a r t ~ - ~ ~ s t e4 6m C , i n c i n n a t i L. Rev. 1 2 3 , 1 3 3 (1977) and m a t e r i a l c i t e d t h e r e i n . 31 Riggenbach, J e f f , No One Has The R i g h t To F r e e T e l e v i s i o n Time, USA p. 10A. ~ o d a ~ ;October 3 , 1983. Many s e e t h e i n f l u e n c e of t e l e v i s i o n a s a dominant f a c t o r i n t h e p r e s i d e n t i a l nomination p r o c e s s . There h a s been an i n c r e a s e i n t h e number of p r e s i d e n t i a l p r i m a r i e s , t h e importance of caucuses and t h e number of primary v o t e r s i n t h e p a s t decade and t h i s h a s l e d t o a new e l e c t i o n - b a s e d p o l i t i c a l a r e n a . Although i n i t i a l l y t h e i n i t i a t i v e f o r expanding p r e s i d e n t i a l p r i m a r i e s came f r o m c a n d i d a t e s c h a l l e n g i n g e n t r e n c h e d p o l i t i c i a n s , once TV j o u r n a l i s t s grasped t h e p r o f e s s i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s o f f e r e d by expanded primary p o l i t i c s , they e r e quick to p r e s s for a massive expansion of a process economically and j o u r n a l i s t i c a l l y advantageous - t o t h e medium. 41 I n t h e l a s t p r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n , t h e d e b a t e s i n New Hampshire p r i o r t o t h a t S t a t e ' s 1980 p r i m a r i e s a r e thought t o have had a c r i t i c a l i n f l u e n c e i n - c o n t r i b u t i n g t o P r e s i d e n t Reagan's u l t i m a t e s u c c e s s i n g e t tin. t h e n a n i n a t i o n . 51 -- -- --- - WHY RECONSIDER FEDERAL LAW REGULATING POLITICAL BROADCASTS AT THIS TIME? I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e t r a d i t i o n a l r e a s o n s f o r r e g a r d i n g TV coverage a s i m p o r t a n t , o t h e r elements which c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e p r e s e n t h e i g h t e n e d i n t e r e s t i n p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s i n c l u d e such f a c t o r s a s i n c r e a s i n g c a n d i d a t e p r e s s u r e f o r TV exposure and t h e concomitant f i n a n c i a l e x p e n d i t u r e s , t h e changes i n t h e F e d e r a l Communications Commission's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of r e q u i r e m e n t s of t h e law which r e g u l a t e s b r o a d c a s t d e b a t e s , and sentiment t o d e r e g u l a t e b r o a d c a s t i n g . 41 Rubin, s u p r a , a t pp. 684-685; P a t t e r s o n , Thomas E . , The Mass Media ~1ectTon--How Americans Choose T h e i r P r e s i d e n t , New York, Praeger P u b l i s h e r s , 1980. pp. 43-53. Van Gelder, B i z , P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates: A Case Study Of The F e d e r a l 51 ~ l e c t y o nC m m i s s i o n ' s R e g u l a t i o n O f Candidate Appearances, 29 Emory Law J o u r n a l 339 (1980). - --- THE GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS ACT WITH RESPECT TO POLITICAL BROADCASTS The g e n e r a l o b j e c t i v e s of t h e F e d e r a l Communications Act w i t h r e s p e c t to r e g u l a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s a r e to-0 p r e v e n t b r o a d c a s t i n g s t a t i o n s and c a b l e t e l e v i s i o n systems o p e r a t o r s from d i s c r i m i n a t i n g between competing l e g a l l y q u a l i f i e d c a n d i d a t e s ; 6 / - 0 i n s u r e t h a t l e g a l l y q u a l i f i e d c a n d i d a t e s a r e allowed t o speak f r e e l y on t h e a i r w i t h o u t c e n s o r s h i p b y b r o a d c a s t e r s o r c a b l e o p e r a t o r s ; 7 / - 0 guarantee t o legally qualified candidates r a t e s that are a s favorable a s t h o s e o f f e r e d b y b r o a d c a s t e r s and c a b l e o p e r a t o r s t o t h e i r most favored a d v e r t i s e r s ; 8/ - 0 make s u r e t h a t l e g a l l y q u a l i f i e d c a n d i d a t e s f o r F e d e r a l e l e c t i v e o f f i c e a r e g i v e n o r s o l d r e a s o n a b l e amounts of t i m e f o r t h e i r campaigns. 9 / - EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES (EQUAL TIME) The e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s a r e i n t e n d e d t o p r e v e n t b r o a d c a s t e r s from d i s c r i m i n a t i n g between c a n d i d a t e s . "Equal time" i s a c o l l o q u i a l t e r m , a s u b s t i t u t e f o r " e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s " which a p p e a r s i n t h e Communications A c t . S e c t i o n 315 of t h e F e d e r a l Communications Act r e q u i r e s t h a t once a b r o a d c a s t l i c e n s e e a f f o r d s one c a n d i d a t e f o r public e l e c t i v e o f f i c e an opportunity t o use h i s f a c i l i t i e s , h e must a f f o r d a l l o t h e r c a n d i d a t e s f o r t h e same o f f i c e e q u a l - o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o u s e h i s f a c i l i t i e s . 10/ The e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t - a p p l i e s t o b o t h commercial TV and t o c a b l e c a s t programming. 111 -61 47 U.S.C. §315(a). -8/ 47 U.S.C. §315(b). -9/ 4 7 U.S.C. §312(a)(7). 10/ - 47 U.S.C. §315(a). 11/ - 4 7 U.S.C. §315(c)(l). U s u a l l y any p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a c a n d i d a t e i n a b r o a d c a s t t r i g g e r s t h e e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s , b u t t h e law e x c e p t s t h e a p p e a r a n c e of l e g a l l y q u a l i f i e d c a n d i d a t e s i n bona f i d e n e w s c a s t s , news i n t e r v i e w s , and news d o c u m e n t a r i e s from e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s . 121 There i s no s i m i l a r e x p l i c i t e x c e p t i o n i n t h e law f o r d e b a t e s between c a n d i d a t e s f o r p u b l i c e l e c t i v e o f f i c e , a l t h o u g h t h e FCC h a s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y r u l e d t h a t d e b a t e s come under t h e news exemption. However, t h e r e may b e some a m b i g u i t y i n d e c i d i n g when d e b a t e s q u a l i f y a s "bona f i d e " n e w s c a s t s o r o t h e r news e v e n t s . A more d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t of t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s appears l a t e r i n t h i s r e p o r t . FAIRNESS DOCTRINE The " F a i r n e s s Doctrine" r e q u i r e s t h a t a b r o a d c a s t e r p r o v i d e a r e a s o n a b l e opportunity (but not n e c e s s a r i l y equal time) for t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n of c o n f l i c t i n g views on c o n t r o v e r s i a l p u b l i c i s s u e s . Broadcasters must o p e r a t e i n t h e public i n t e r e s t and c o v e r p u b l i c i s s u e s , but a r e n o t s p e c i f i c a l l y r e q u i r e d t o c o v e r p a r t i c u l a r public issues. Once a b r o a d c a s t e r c o v e r s a p a r t i c u l a r p u b l i c i s s u e t h e F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e compels i t t o p r e s e n t a r e a s o n a b l y b a l a n c e d c o v e r a g e - of t h a t i s s u e . 131 T h e r e i s no e q u i v a l e n t t o t h e F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e a p p l i c a b l e t o t h e p r i n t e d press. With r e s p e c t t o t h e p r i n t media, t h e e d i t o r i a l d e c i s i o n o n what t o p r i n t and t h e c o n v e r s e , what not t o p r i n t , i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be beyond government c o n t r o l b e c a u s e of t h e F i r s t Amendment g u a r a n t e e s of f r e e speech a n d p r e s s . ----121 131 - 47 U.S.C. 5315(a). 47 U.S.C. 5 3 1 5 ( a ) ; 47 C.F.R. 5573.1910-73.1940 (1982). However, t h e Supreme Court h a s upheld t h e FCC's " F a i r n e s s Doctrine", which impacts t o some d e g r e e on t h e b r o a d c a s t m e d i a t e e d i t o r i a l freedom, a s not v i o l a t i n g c o n s t i t u t i o n a l standards .141 The r a t i o n a l e of t h e Supreme Court i n upholding t h i s l i m i t e d r e g u l a t i o n of b r o a d c a s t i n g c o n t e n t i s t h a t t h e b r o a d c a s t f r e q u e n c i e s a r e l i m i t e d and t h o s e - g r a n t e d l i c e n s e s must a c t i n t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . 151 PERSONAL ATTACK RULE The FCC P e r s o n a l A t t a c k Rule a p p l i e s when, d u r i n g t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n of views on a c o n t r o v e r s i a l i s s u e of p u b l i c i m p o r t a n c e , an a t t a c k i s made upon t h e h o n e s t y , - c h a r a c t e r , i n t e g r i t y o r l i k e p e r s o n a l q u a l i t i e s of an i n d i v i d u a l o r group. 161 The commission's P e r s o n a l A t t a c k Rule d o e s n o t a p p l y t o a t t a c k s made by c a n d i d a t e s o r t h e i r campaign a s s o c i a t e s on o t h e r c a n d i d a t e s o r t h e i r a s s o c i a t e s , o r t o a t t a c k s on anyone e l s e i f made d u r i n g a c a n d i d a t e ' s "use" of a s t a t i o n o r c a b l e system. Sometimes, however, a t t a c k s t h a t d o not cane w i t h i n t h i s exemption a r e b r o a d c a s t d u r i n g p o l i t i c a l campaigns. Such a s i t u a t i o n might a r i s e d u r i n g a b r o a d c a s t paid f o r by persons o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s c o m p l e t e l y independent of any c a n d i d a t e o r c a n d i d a t e ' s a s s o c i a t e s i n which a p e r s o n a l a t t a c k i s made on a candidate. 141 - Red L i o n B r o a d c a s t i n g Co. v . FCC, 395 U.S. 367 ( 1 9 6 9 ) . 151 Miami Herald P u b l i s h i n g Co. v . T o r n i l l o , 4 1 8 U.S. 241 (1974) ( s t r i k i n g down ~ t a t a l a wp r o v i d i n g newspaper a c c e s s s i m i l a r t o F e d e r a l F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e ) . 161 - 47 CFR $73.1920. I f someone b r o a d c a s t s an a t t a c k a g a i n s t a c a n d i d a t e , t h e s t a t i o n need n o t i n v i t e t h e c a n d i d a t e t o appear p e r s o n a l l y t o answer t h e a t t a c k . A f t e r such a n a p p e a r a n c e , a l l o t h e r c a n d i d a t e s f o r t h e same o f f i c e would be e n t i t l e d t o e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s under S e c t i o n 315. R a t h e r , a s t a t i o n can canply w i t h t h e r u l e by allowing a spokesman f o r t h e c a n d i d a t e t o respond. P e r s o n a l a t t a c k r u l e s do n o t - apply t o news b r o a d c a s t s b u t do apply t o s t a t i o n e d i t o r i a l s . 171 POLITICAL - EDITORIAL RULE A " p o l i t i c a l e d i t o r i a l " i s a s t a t e m e n t by o r on b e h a l f of t h e l i c e n s e e of a b r o a d c a s t i n g s t a t i o n o r t h e o p e r a t o r of a c a b l e system which e n d o r s e s o r opposes a candidate. It i s not a s t a t e n e n t by a commentator o r a n o t h e r employee of a s t a t i o n , u n l e s s i t i s r e p r e s e n t e d a s t h e s t a t e m e n t of t h e l i c e n s e e o r c a b l e operator. However, i f t h e p r e s i d e n t of a s t a t i o n b r o a d c a s t s a s t a t e m e n t o r i n t e r v i e w i n which he e n d o r s e s o r opposes a c a n d i d a t e , i t w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d t o f a l l w i t h i n t h e Commission's p o l i t i c a l e d i t o r i a l i z i n g r u l e , even though i t i s not l a b e l e d an e d i t o r i a l . The r u l e does not f o r b i d b r o a d c a s t i n g o r c a b l e c a s t i n g p o l i t i c a l e d i t o r i a l s . However, a b r o a d c a s t e r of an e d i t o r i a l e n d o r s i n g o r opposing a c a n d i d a t e must o f f e r a r e a s o n a b l e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t h e c a n d i d a t e o r a spokesman of t h e a f f e c t e d c a n d i d a t e an o p p o r t u n i t y t o respond over t h e b r o a d c a s t e r ' s f a c i l i t i e s . The s t a t i o n does not have t o permit a c a n d i d a t e t o respond p e r s o n a l l y , a l t h o u g h - u s u a l l y t h e c h o i c e of a responding spokesman i s up t o t h e c a n d i d a t e . 181 U.S. Federal Communications Commission, The Law o f P o l i t i c a l Broadcasting 17/ And c b l e c a s t i n g : A P o l i t i c a l P r i m e r , 1980. p. 14. 18/ 47 CFR 573.1930; s e e U.S. Federal Communications Commission, The Law Of ~ o l i t i c a lBroadcasting And C a b l e c a s t i n g : A P o l i t i c a l Primer, 1980. pp. 13-14. RATES CHARGED TO- CANDIDATES A TV s t a t i o n and c a b l e TV s t a t i o n may n o t c h a r g e a c a n d i d a t e more f o r time t h a n i t would c h a r g e a r e g u l a r commercial a d v e r t i s e r , and d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d 45 d a y s b e f o r e a primary and 60 days b e f o r e a g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n , t h e s t a t i o n may n o t c h a r g e t h e c a n d i d a t e more t h a n i t s l o w e s t u n i t c h a r g e f o r t h e same c l a s s and - amount of time f o r t h e same p e r i o d . 19/ ACCESS TO MEDIA The FCC may r e v o k e a s t a t i o n s ' s l i c e n s e f o r w i l l f u l o r r e p e a t e d f a i l u r e t o a l l o w r e a s o n a b l e a c c e s s o r t o p e r m i t t h e p u r c h a s e of r e a s o n a b l e amounts of t i m e - f o r t h e use of a c a n d i d a t e f o r F e d e r a l e l e c t i v e o f f i c e t o f u r t h e r h i s c a n d i d a c y . 201 CANDIDATE DEBATES P o l i t i c a l d e b a t e s a r e a n i m p o r t a n t s u b s e t of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t i n g : i m p o r t a n t i n t h e m s e l v e s and i m p o r t a n t b e c a u s e t h e y i l l u s t r a t e how equal o p p o r t u n i t i e s , f a i r n e s s and some o t h e r p r o v i s i o n s of law a f f e c t t h e p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s . P u b l i c i n t e r e s t i n d e b a t e s between p o l i t i c a l c a n d i d a t e s h a s been a t r a d i t i o n a l p a r t of American e l e c t i o n s which p r e d a t e s b r o a d c a s t t e c h n o l o g y b y many y e a r s . D e b a t e s may p r o v i d e t h e e l e c t o r a t e w i t h i t s o n l y o p p o r t u n i t y t o o b s e r v e t h e c a n d i d a t e s t o g e t h e r d i s c u s s i n g t h e i r p o s i t i o n s on i m p o r t a n t i s s u e s . However, d e b a t e s between p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s and t h e i n f l u e n c e o f lV i n - p o l i t i c a l campaigns a r e of r e c e n t o r i g i n , b o t h having emerged i n t h e 1 9 6 0 ' s . 211 The t e l e v i s e d d e b a t e s betwleen John F. Kennedy and R i c h a r d M . Nixon i n 1960 were --191 - 47 U.S.C. §315(b). 201 - 4 7 U.S.C. §3l2(a)(7). 211 - P a t t e r s o n , s u p r a , a t p. v i i . t h e f i r s t of t h e p r e s i d e n t i a l d e b a t e s . The famous Lincoln-Douglas d e b a t e s i n 1858 took p l a c e not d u r i n g a p r e s i d e n t i a l campaign, b u t when t h e two r i v a l s were running f o r U.S. S e n a t e . --221 The Kennedy-Nixon d e b a t e s i n 1960, t h e d e b a t e s between Jimmy C a r t e r and Gerald R. Ford i n 1976, and t h e 1980 d e b a t e s b e t e e n Reagan and C a r t e r and between t h e Republican primary c o n t e n d e r s a r e considered t o have played c r i t i c a l r o l e s i n t h o s e campaigns. Some 101 m i l l i o n t o 107 m i l l i o n persons watched a t - l e a s t one d e b a t e i n 1960 and 122 m i l l i o n t h e 1976 d e b a t e s , 231 t h e exact f i g u r e s - depending on who d i d t h e e s t i m a t i n g . 241 And t h e League of Women Voters e s t i m a t e - The 120 m i l l i o n Americans watched Jimmy C a r t e r and Ronald Reagan d e b a t e . 251 arrangements of t h e s e d e b a t e s have d i f f e r e d and changed t o comply with b r o a d c a s t i n g and campaign f i n a n c i n g r e g u l a t i o n s . The FCC h a s not always been c o n s i s t e n t i n i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of what t r i g g e r s equal o p p o r t u n i t i e s o b l i g a t i o n s . P r i o r t o 1959, t h e FCC h e l d t h a t an appearance of a p o l i t i c a l c a n d i d a t e i n a newscast was not a "use". I n 1958, t h e FCC changed -- i t s e a r l i e r p o s i t i o n and, i n t h e Lar Daly c a s e , h e l d t h a t a n appearance i n a newscast of t h e Mayor of Chicago, who was t h e n a c a n d i d a t e f o r r e e l e c t i o n , g r e e t i n g t h e P r e s i d e n t o f Argentina a t t h e l o c a l a i r p o r t was a "use" e n t i t l i n g 221 K i r k p a t r i c k , Evron M . , P r e s i d e n t i a l Candidates 'Debates' : What Can We ~ G r From n 1960? i n The P a s t & F u t u r e O f P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates, A u s t i n Ranney, e d . Washington, D . C . , American E n t e r p r i s e I n s t i t u t e f o r Public P o l i c y Research. p. 6 ; M i t c h e l l , Lee M . , Background Paper i n With t h e N a t i o n Watching--Report of t h e Twentieth Century Fund Task F o r c e on T e l e v i s e d P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates, Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1979. pp. 19-39. 231 Sarnof f , Robert W . , An NBC View, i n The Great Debates, Sidney Kraus, e d . , 1 n d i Z a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962, r e p r i n t e d 1968. pp. 56-64. 241 S t a n t o n , Frank, A CBS View, i n The Great Debates, s u p r a , a t p. The = s t . ~ n d F u t u r e O f P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates, s u p r a . , a t p. -1 - 66; The 1980 p r e s i d e n t i a l Debates: Behind The Scenes, League Of Women Voters 251 ~ d u c z i o nFund (1981). p. 1. a n o t h e r c a n d i d a t e , one Lar D a l y , t o e q u a l t i m e . Congress r e a c t e d t o t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by amending t h e law i n 1959 t o exempt from e q u a l time r e q u i r e m e n t s a p p e a r a n c e s by c a n d i d a t e s i n bona f i d e n e w s c a s t s , news i n t e r v i e w s , news document a r i e s , and on-the-spot c o v e r a g e of news e v e n t s . The l e g i s l a t i v e h i s t o r y o f t h e 1959 amendment i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e q u e s t i o n of whether p o l i t i c a l d e b a t e s s h o u l d - a l s o be exempted was c o n s i d e r e d and r e j e c t e d by Congress. 261 I n 1960, Congress suspended S e c t i o n 315 s o f a r a s i t a p p l i e d t o t h e p r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n of 1960. 271 - I n 1975, t h e FCC i n t h e Aspen I n s t i t u t e c a s e a s s e r t e d t h a t i t was changing i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s and t h a t h e n c e f o r t h , a d e b a t e between c a n d i d a t e s would be exempt froin e q u a l t h e r e q u i r a n e n t s a s a news - e v e n t i f i t was sponsored by a n o n b r o a d c a s t e n t i t y . 281 I n November 1983, t h e FCC a g a i n changed i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of equal o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s and r u l e d t h a t b r o a d c a s t e r s t h e m s e l v e s may s p o n s o r - c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s w i t h o u t t r i g g e r i n g e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s . 291 The League o f Women V o t e r s E d u c a t i o n Fund f i l e d a n a p p e a l i n F e d e r a l Court s e e k i n g t o r e v e r s e t h e FCC r u l i n g and asked t h e c o u r t t o e x p e d i t e t h e r u l i n g i n l i g h t of t h e a p p r o a c h i n g 1984 e l e c t i o n s . The c o u r t agreed t o e x p e d i t e i t s c o n s i d e r a t i o n 261 - Barrow, s u p r a . , a t pp. 125-132, and r e f e r e n c e s c i t e d . 271 - S.J. Res. 407, 8 6 t h Congress, 2d S e s s . ( 1 9 6 0 ) . 281 Aspen I n s t i t u t e Program on Communications and S o c i e t y , 55 FCC 2d 697 ( 1 9 7 T , a f f ' d sub nom. Chisholm v . FCC, 538 F.2d 349 (D.C. C i r . ) c e r t . d e n i e d , 429 U.S. 890 ( 1 9 7 6 ) . - - I n r e p e t i t i o n s o f Henry G e l l e r and t h e N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n o f and t h e R a d i o - T e l e v i s i o n News D i r e c t o r s A s s o c i a t i o n , 48 Fed. Reg. 53166 (Nov. 2 5 , 1 9 8 3 ) , 54 RR2d 1246 ( 1 9 8 3 ) , a p p e a l d o c k e t e d sub n m . League o f Women V o t e r s E d u c a t i o n Fund v . FCC No. 83-2194 (D.C. C i r November 1 8 , 1983). 291 roadc casters - . and a d e c i s i o n i s expected by ~ p r i l . The League contends t h a t t h e FCC r u l i n g i s i n c o n f l i c t w i t h t h e language of S e c t i o n 315, i s c o n t r a r y t o t h e i n t e n t of Congress and t h a t t h e FCC f a i l e d t o p r e s e n t j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s d r a s t i c - d e p a r t u r e from l o n g s t a n d i n g FCC i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . 301 The 1983 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s too r e c e n t t o provide an i n d i c a t i o n a s t o how t h e media w i l l u t i l i z e i t s new a u t h o r i t y . The e x p e c t a t i o n i s t h a t t h e exemption of t e l e v i s e d d e b a t e s from equal o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s may r e s u l t i n a change from p a s t p r a c t i c e s i n t h e s p o n s o r s h i p of d e b a t e s and t h e f i n a n c i n g of the debates. In t h e l a s t two p r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n s , t h e League of Women Voters and a few l o c a l newspapers took t h e lead r o l e i n a r r a n g i n g most c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s . A s a r e s u l t of t h e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , b r o a d c a s t e r s may be expected t o p l a y a l e a d r o l e i n sponsoring and a r r a n g i n g f u t u r e d e b a t e s . Some news r e p o r t s have suggested t h a t t h e r e a r e now so many competing t o sponsor p r e s i d e n t i a l d e b a t e s t h i s f a l l - t h a t i t may d i m i n i s h t h e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r d e b a t e s between major c a n d i d a t e s . 311 How should t h e F e d e r a l law d e f i n e what i s a "nonpartisan" d e b a t e and t o what e x t e n t , and under what c o n d i t i o n s , i f any, should c o r p o r a t i o n s and l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s be allowed t o f i n a n c e d e b a t e s b e t w e n p o l i t i c a l c a n d i d a t e s ? - 301 See f n . 29 and Dorothy S . Ridings, The Debates Debate, N a t i o n a l Voter, v o l . 33, Winter, 1984. pp. 24-26. 311 Washington P o s t , February 9, 1984, p. A7, c i t i n g spokesman f o r Twentieth Fund. Who s h o u l d d e c i d e s u c h m a t t e r s a s : 0 which c a n d i d a t e s a r e t o debate--the two major p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s o n l y , o r t h e major p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s j o i n e d by minor p a r t y and i n d e p e n d e n t candidates? 0 i f c a n d i d a t e s o t h e r t h a n t h e two major p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s a r e t o d e b a t e , what c r i t e r i a a r e t o be used t o d e t e r m i n e which of t h e minor p a r t y and i n d e p e n d e n t c a n d i d a t e s s h o u l d p a r t i c i p a t e ? 0 how o f t e n , when a n d where, and i n what s e t t i n g a r e t h e c a n d i d a t e s t o debate? 0 what i s a n a p p r o p r i a t e format f o r t h e d e b a t e , s h o u l d c a n d i d a t e s d e l i v e r p r e p a r e d s p e e c h e s , o r q u e s t i o n e a c h o t h e r , o r answer q u e s t i o n s from t h e a u d i e n c e , and i f t h e r e i s t o be a n a u d i e n c e , o f whom i s t h e a u d i e n c e t o consist? who i s t o b e a r t h e c o s t of t h e d e b a t e , t h e c a n d i d a t e s , p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , c o r p o r a t i o n s , l a b o r u n i o n s , PACs, s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t g r o u p s , t h e U.S. T r e a s u r y ? RELATED DEVELOPMENTS I n r e l a t e d developments, t h e FCC, i n working towards i t s g o a l t o e l i m i n a t e much of t h e r e g u l a t i o n of t h e b r o a d c a s t i n g i n d u s t r y , h a s made k n o w i t s i n t e n t i o n t o e l i m i n a t e b o t h t h e p e r s o n a l a t t a c k and p o l i t i c a l e d i t o r i a l r u l e s and t h e r e i s some s e n t i m e n t t o r e p e a l t h e F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e a s w e l l . The FCC h a s a l s o s i g n a l e d i t s i n t e n t i o n t o e l i m i n a t e i t s r u l e l i m i t i n g t h e number of r a d i o and t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n s a company may own i n one r e g i o n . This i s of c o n c e r n t o some b e c a u s e , i f a d o p t e d , t h e r e may b e t h e p o t e n t i a l of f o s t e r i n g t h e growth o f media c o n g l o m e r a t e s a t t h e expense of e n c o u r a g i n g new e n t r a n t s i n thse m a r k e t p l a c e and m i n o r i t y ownership. (The FCC p r o p o s a l would n o t change t h e FCC r u l e s t h a t p r e v e n t b r o a d c a s t e r s from p u r c h a s i n g r a d i o and t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n s i n t h e same c i t y o r o p e r a t i n g two AM, two FM o r two TV s t a t i o n s r e a c h i n g t h e same a u d i e n c e .) The argument f o r t h e FCC p r o p o s a l i s t h a t b r o a d c a s t e r s may improve t h e i r program o f f e r i n g s i f t h e y c a n o p e r a t e m r e e f f i c i e n t l y by owning w r e p r o p e r t i e s i n one a r e a . It i s a l s o a s s e r t e d t h a t c a n p e t i t i o n i n t h e i n d u s t r y h a s b e e n i n c r e a s e d because of t h e a v a i l a b i l i t y of c a b l e TV and o t h e r non-broadcas t video s e r v i c e s a s w e l l a s because of t h e i n c r e a s i n g number of b r o a d c a s t o u t l e t s . The number of r a d i o s t a t i o n s i n t h e United S t a t e s has i n c r e a s e d by 18.9% and t h e number of t e l e v i s i o n s t a t i o n s by 36.7% s i n c e 1977 when t h e r e g i o n a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n r u l e was adopted. The FCC's a c t i o n i s i n r e s p o n s e t o a r e q u e s t f r o m t h e National A s s o c i a t i o n - o f B r o a d c a s t e r s t h a t i t e l i m i n a t e t h e r u l e , 321 but o t h e r s a r e concerned t h a t i f t h e r u l e s a s t o ownership a r e r e l a x e d , a c o n c e n t r a t i o n of c o n t r o l w i l l f a c i l i t a t e t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r p o l i t i c a l abuses on t h e p a r t of t h e b r o a d c a s t e r s . BROADCAST INDUSTRY SELF-REGULATION I f t h e FCC were t o c e a s e t o p l a y a r o l e i n e n s u r i n g c a n d i d a t e s a f a i r amount of b r o a d c a s t exposure, t h e r e does n o t p r e s e n t l y appear t o be a n o r g a n i z a t i o n o r i n d u s t r y g r o u p which might m o n i t o r p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s t o e v a l u a t e f a i r a c c e s s . I n J a n u a r y , 1983, t h e N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n o f B r o a d c a s t e r s disbanded i t s Radio and T e l e v i s i o n Code Boards t h e r e b y ending t h e b r o a d c a s t i n g i n d u s t r y ' s o r g a n i z e d s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n of some a s p e c t s of b r o a d c a s t p r a c t i c e . The Radio Code Board had been i n o p e r a t i o n n e a r l y a s long a s commercial r a d i o . Commentators i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e d i s b a n d i n g of t h e Code Boards was r e l a t e d t o an a n t i t r u s t c a s e , b r o u g h t by t h e U.S. J u s t i c e Department, which r e s u l t e d i n a c o n s e n t d e c r e e p r o h i b i t i n g t h e N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n o f B r o a d c a s t e r s from r e q u i r i n g o r s u g g e s t i n g member adherence t o a d v e r t i s i n g s t a n d a r d s l i m i t i n g b r o a d c a s t commercials. The d i s b a n d i n g of t h e Boards a p p e a r s t o have gone f a r beyond what was r e q u i r e d by t h e c o n s e n t - d e c r e e . 331 321 S a d d l e r , Jeanne, FCC May End Regional Limit On Broadcasters--Rule Bars TV S t a t i o n i n Area; Move Opposed by One Member, Wall S t r e e t J o u r n a l , January 13, 1984, p. 10. BUY~G a Third 331 Jassem, Harvey C . , An Examination of S e l f - R e g u l a t i o n of B r o a d c a s t i n g , 5 ~ G u n i c a t i o n sand t h e Law 5 1 (1983). What e f f e c t , i f a n y , t h e c e s s a t i o n of a s e l f - r e g u l a t i n g c o d e w i l l have on p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y a t a time when t h e F e d e r a l G o v e r m e n t i s r e d u c i n g i t s r o l e i n b r o a d c a s t r e g u l a t i o n , i s a m a t t e r of c o n j e c t u r e . However, t h e convergence of t h e e v e n t s d e s c r i b e d above makes t h o s e who f a v o r some d e g r e e o f F e d e r a l r e g u l a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s a p p r e h e n s i v e l e s t , in the future, b r o a d c a s t f a c i l i t i e s may n o t be made a v a i l a b l e t o c a n d i d a t e s o n a f a i r and reasonable basis. A l l t h e s e e v e n t s , p l u s some d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h t h e conduct of p r e s i d e n t i a l debates i n recent e l e c t i o n s , contribute t o increased i n t e r e s t i n the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t C o n g r e s s m i g h t w i s h t o t a k e a new l o o k a t t h e F e d e r a l law w i t h a v i e w toward d e c i d i n g i f more s t a t u t o r y s t r u c t u r e o r g u i d a n c e i s i n d i c a t e d . Newton Minow, a f o r m e r chairman of t h e F e d e r a l Communications Commission, i n p r e s e n t i n g t h e f i n d i n g s of a s t u d y group sponsored by t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund, i s quoted by t h e p r e s s a s s a y i n g t h a t i n a m a t t e r of such v i t a l importance a s p r e s i d e n t i a l d e b a t e s , i t i s a s t o n i s h i n g how c a s u a l , how d i s o r g a n i z e d , how unplanned t h e s e d e b a t e s have o c c u r r e d . 34/ - The s t u d y g r o u p ' s recommendations a r e d i s c u s s e d i n more d e t a i l l a t e r i n t h i s r e p o r t . FINANCING DEBATES I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e Communications Act ' s e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s , F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e , and t h e l i k e t o c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s , o t h e r q u e s t i o n s s u r f a c e with r e s p e c t t o t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of c e r t a i n p r o v i s i o n s of t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act of 1971 t o t h e f i n a n c i n g of c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s . The F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act of 1971 p r o h i b i t s c o r p o r a t e and l a b o r u n i o n c o n t r i b u t i o n s made i n connect i o n with Federal elections. 34/ New York Times, November 23, 1983, p. A24; s e e a l s o f o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a r r i v i n g a t a s u i t a b l e format f o r t h e d e b a t e s , i n The Great D e b a t e s , s u p r a , S e l t z & Yoakam, P r o d u c t i o n Diary o f t h e Debates, a t pp. 73-126; Siepmann, Were They G r e a t ? , a t pp. 132-141; Auer, The C o u n t e r f e i t D e b a t e s , s u p r a , a t pp. 142-150. - - u n l i k e t h e FCC, t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission views c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s s t a g e d by media o r g a n i z a t i o n s a s g e n e r a l l y n o t w i t h i n t h e news exemption. The r e s u l t of t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t h a t f u n d i n g of t h e d e b a t e s i s not e x c l u d e d from t h e d e f i n i t i o n s of c o n t r i b u t i o n and e x p e n d i t u r e f o r - t h i s r e a s o n . 351 But such f u n d i n g may b e e x c l u d e d from t h e d e f i n i t i o n s o f c o n t r i b u t i o n and e x p e n d i t u r e under F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission r e g u l a t i o n s i f t h e funds - a r e used t o d e f r a y c o s t s i n c u r r e d i n s t a g i n g n o n p a r t i s a n c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s . 361 The F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission r e g u l a t i o n s i d e n t i f y c e r t a i n n o n p a r t i s a n t a x exempt o r g a n i z a t i o n s and b r o a d c a s t e r s , bona f i d e newspapers and o t h e r p e r i o d i c a l p u b l i c a t i o n s a s a p p r o p r i a t e t o s t a g e such n o n p a r t i s a n d e b a t e s . And t h e r e g u l a t i o n s p r o v i d e t h a t a c o r p o r a t i o n o r l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n may d o n a t e f u n d s t o n o n p r o f i t nonpartisan organizations t o s t a g e nonpartisan candidate debates h e l d i n accordance with t h e r e g u l a t i o n s . 371 - The n o n p a r t i s a n n a t u r e of a d e b a t e , t h e n , becomes t h e key t o w h e t h e r funds u s e d t o d e f r a y c o s t s of s t a g i n g c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s a r e a n e x p e n d i t u r e . The F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission r e g u l a t i o n s s t a t e t h a t t h e s t r u c t u r e of such d e b a t e s i s l e f t t o t h e d i s c r e t i o n of t h e s t a g i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n , p r o v i d e d t h a t ( 1 ) such d e b a t e s i n c l u d e a t l e a s t two c a n d i d a t e s , and ( 2 ) t h e y d o n o t promote o r - advance one c a n d i d a t e o v e r a n o t h e r . 38/ The number of c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e p a r t i c i p a n t s needed t o meet n o n p a r t i s a n r e q u i r e m e n t s c a n v a r y w i t h c i r c u m s t a n c e s . I t may t a k e more t h a n two t o d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t t h o s e i n v i t e d do not f a v o r o n e c a n d i d a t e o v e r another. B e f o r e i t s G e l l e r d e c i s i o n , t h e FCC's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t provided a f a c t o r f u r t h e r e n s u r i n g t h e n o n p a r t i s a n s h i p -- --.--.--~- 351 361 371 381 - 2 U.S.C. ' § 4 3 1 ( 9 ) ( ~ ) ( i ) ;11 CFR § 1 0 0 . 7 ( b ) ( 2 ) . 11 CFR § § 1 0 0 . 7 ( b ) ( 2 1 ) , 1 0 0 . 8 ( b ) ( 2 3 ) . 11 CFR SS110.13, 114.4(e). 11 CFR § l l O . l 3 ( b ) . o f c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s s t a g e d by b r o a d c a s t e r s . Geller -- For t h a t r e a s o n , a t t h e time of t h e p e t i t i o n s , t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission s u b m i t t e d comments p o i n t i n g out t h a t a change i n t h e FCC i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f S e c t i o n 315 might r e q u i r e r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e r u l e s . On J a n u a r y 1 2 , 1984, t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission reviewed i t s r e g u l a t i o n s r e l a t i v e t o f i n a n c i n g c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s i n t h e l i g h t of t h e r e c e n t FCC G e l l e r decision. I t d e c i d e d t o r e t a i n i t s p r e s e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a t d e b a t e s s t a g e d by media o r g a n i z a t i o n s a r e o u t s i d e t h e news exempt i o n and c o n s t i t u t e a n e x p e n d i t u r e under 2 U.S.C. § 4 3 1 ( 9 ) ( B ) ( i ) , r a t h e r t h a n f o l l o w t h e FCC's o p i n i o n i n t h e G e l l e r - o r d e r . 391 The change i n t h e F e d e r a l Communications Commission's p o s i t i o n on e q u a l time r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r b r o a d c a s t d e b a t e s may r e s u l t i n a r e e x a m i n a t i o n by t h e Congress of whether and u n d e r what c i r c u m s t a n c e s i t i s l e g a l f o r c o r p o r a t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g media o r g a n i z a t i o n s , and l a b o r unions t o d e f r a y t h e c o s t of c a n d i d a t e b r o a d c a s t s . CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES The d e c i s i o n c o n c e r n i n g w h e t h e r , and how, t h e F e d e r a l G o v e r m e n t s h o u l d r e g u l a t e o r d e r e g u l a t e p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s , involves a c o n s i d e r a t i o n not o n l y of competing i n t e r e s t s b u t a l s o of complex l e g a l and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i s s u e s . For example, how a r e F i r s t Amendment g u a r a n t e e s of f r e e s p e e c h and p r e s s and r i g h t t o p o l i t i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n t o be balanced between t h e v a r i o u s p e r s o n s o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s who wish t o p l a y a r o l e i n p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s and whose i n t e r e s t s may b e c o n f l i c t i n g ? Also, a s i n many o t h e r a s p e c t s of campaign r e g u l a t i o n , q u e s t i o n s a r i s e a s t o how t o t r e a t competing c a n d i d a t e s f a i r l y so t h a t t h e l a w d o e s n o t unduly f a v o r c a n d i d a t e s of t h e two m a j o r p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , a t t h e expense of minor p a r t y and i n d e p e n d e n t c a n d i d a t e s . 391 F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission, Minutes of a n Open M e e t i n g , T h u r s d a y , ~ a n u G1 2~, 1984, p.3. Any new F e d e r a l Government a c t i o n i n t h e a r e a of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s might b e based upon t h e a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d a b i l i t y t o r e g u l a t e e l e c t r o n i c media due t o s c a r c i t y of t r a n s m i s s i o n medium and t h e fundamental c o n c e p t t h a t a n informed e l e c t o r a t e i s necessary t o t h e democratic process. 401 C u r r e n t l y t h e F e d e r a l law t r e a t s t h e b r o a d c a s t media d i f f e r e n t l y t h a n t h e p r i n t media. R i g h t of a c c e s s t o t h e p r i n t m e d i a , r i g h t t o r e p l y t o e d i t o r i a l s , and t h e l i k e , a r e n o t , and c a n n o t b e , mandated b y l a w b e c a u s e s u c h r e q u i r e m e n t s would be c o n t r a r y t o t h e F i r s t Amendment p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t g o v e r w e n t r e g u l a t i o n - of f r e e s p e e c h and p r e s s . 411 The Supreme C o u r t , however, h a s upheld t h e power of C o n g r e s s t o l e g i s l a t e s u c h c o n s t r a i n t s of radio/TV b r o a d c a s t e r s . The r a t i o n a l e of r e g u l a t i o n of b r o a d c a s t i n g by t h e F e d e r a l G o v e r m e n t i s b a s e d on t h e p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n t h a t good r e c e p t i o n c a n n o t b e g u a r a n t e e d u n l e s s r a d i o s i g n a l s a r e r e g u l a t e d ; w i t h o u t r e g u l a t i o n , t h e s i g n a l s would i n t e r f e r e w i t h e a c h o t h e r and t h e q u a l i t y of t h e t r a n s m i s s i o n would b e u n a c c e p t a b l e , Since Congress found i t n e c e s s a r y t o l i m i t who may b r o a d c a s t , t h o s e who a r e g r a n t e d - l i c e n s e s t o b r o a d c a s t a r e r e q u i r e d by law t o s e r v e t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . 421 The Supreme C o u r t h a s h e l d t h a t t h e FCC's F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e which r e q u i r e s b r o a d c a s t e r s t o a l l o c a t e reasonable time t o the broadcast of c o n t r o v e r s i a l i s s u e s of p u b l i c i m p o r t a n c e and t o p r e s e n t v a r i o u s s i d e s of such i s s u e s d o e s not v i o l a t e t h e F i r s t Amendment r i g h t s of t h e b r o a d c a s t e r s . The Court h e l d t h a t i t i s t h e r i g h t of t h e v i e w e r s and l i s t e n e r s , n o t t h e r i g h t of t h e b r o a d c a s t e r s , which i s - paramount. 431 401 Emerson, Thomas I . , C o l o n i a l I n t e n t i o n s and C u r r e n t R e a l i t i e s of t h e ~ i r s t ~ m e n d m e n t1,2 5 U . Pa. L. Rev. 737 ( 1 9 7 7 ) . 411 421 431 - ' - Miami H e r a l d P u b l i s h i n g Co. v . T o r n i l l o , 418 U.S. Red L i o n B r o a d c a s t i n g Co Id., a t 386-390. .vFCC, 241 ( 1 9 7 4 ) . 395 U . S. 3 6 7 ( 1969) . A d d i t i o n a l r e g u l a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s c o u l d , t h e r e f o r e , be based upon e x t e n s i o n of t h i s confirmed argument. On t h e o t h e r h a n d , i n o p p o s i t i o n t o a d d i t i o n a l r e g u l a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t s , some q u e s t i o n t h e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i t ~o f a p p l y i n g e q u a l time r e q u i r e m e n t s t o e l e c t r o n i c media, and t o c a b l e t r a n s m i s s i o n . They c o n t e n d t h a t t h e t e c h n o l o g y o f c a b l e c h a l l e n g e s t h e r a t i o n a l e of s c a r c i t y a s a j u s t i f i c a t i o n for content regulation. Cable t e l e v i s i o n d o e s n o t occupy t h e r a d i o s p e c t r u m ; i n s t e a d i t s s i g n a l s a r e t r a n s m i t t e d t h r o u g h c a b l e s s t r u n g along p u b l i c u t i l i t y p o l e s o r l a i d underground. For t h i s r e a s o n , some c o n t e n d t h a t g o v e r n r w n t a l r e g u l a t i o n t o prevent s i g n a l i n t e r f e r e n c e i s unnecessary. Cable t e l e v i s i o n c a n - o f f e r many more c h a n n e l s t h a n t r a d i t i o n a l b r o a d c a s t t e l e v i s i o n . 441 O t h e r s , however, a s s e r t t h a t t h e p o t e n t i a l of i n t e r f e r e n c e which m i g h t be caused by so many communications s a t e l l i t e s o p e r a t i n g a t s i m i l a r r a d i o f r e q u e n c i e s m i g h t b r i n g c a b l e TV, which u s e s s a t e l l i t e s e x c l u s i v e l y t o c a r r y i t s programming, t o t h e same s c a r c i t y of r e s o u r c e s s i t u a t i o n a s p r e v a i l s f o r r a d i o s i g n a l s . - Whether such an a s s e r t i o n i s s u p p o r t e d by t h e f a c t s i s u n c l e a r . 451 I f one assumes t h a t t e c h n o l o g i c a l change e l i m i n a t e s s c a r c i t y a s a j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r b r o a d c a s t r e g u l a t i o n , argument c o u l d be made f o r r e i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e F i r s t Amendment t o p r o v i d e f o r emergence a s w e l l a s t h e p r o t e c t i o n of e x p r e s s i o n . Some s e e a need f o r a new b a l a n c i n g of t h e c a n p e t i n g F i r s t Amendment i n t e r e s t s of s u p p l i e r s and r e c e i v e r s of i n f o r m a t i o n , f o r promotion o f d i v e r s i t y i n t h e changing econcmic and s o c i a l environment of mass media. 441 461 Koppel, s u p r a , a t 517-519. 451 See O'Toole, Thomas, Communications S a t e l l i t e s Overcrowded, Washington ~ o s t ' ; I ~ e b r u a r1~, 1984, p . H 2 ; S a t e l l i t e Week, F a l l o w T r a n s p o n d e r s Keach New P l a t e a u ; G l u t L i k e l y t o Grow Worse, J a n u a r y 2 3 , 1984, p. 1. 461 S e e B a r r o n , Jerome A., Access t o t h e Press--A New F i r s t Amendment R i g h t , 80 Ham. L. Rev. 1641 (1967) ; L i v e l y , Don, Af f i n n a t i v e Act i o n and A F r e e P r e s s : P o l i c i e s and Problems i n Promoting t h e F i r s t Amendment, 11 Pac. L.J. 6 5 ( 1 9 7 9 ) ; Note, he ~ i ~ t ho Know t i n F i r s t Amendment A n a l y s i s , 57 Tex. L. Rev. 505 ( 1 9 7 9 ) . Another avenue f o r a d d i t i o n a l F e d e r a l r e g u l a t i o n of p r e s i d e n t i a l d e b a t e s m i g h t be amendment of t h e P r e s i d e n t i a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Fund A c t . F o r example, t h e Supreme C o u r t , i n Buckley v . V a l e o , s u s t a i n e d F e d e r a l f i n a n c i n g t o a v o i d c o r r u p t i n g i n f l u e n c e s and c r e a t e a f a i r campaign e n v i r o n m e n t . Since t h a t f u n d i n g goes i n l a r g e p a r t t o media e x p e n s e s , a s n o t e d by t h e C o u r t , p e r h a p s i t c o u l d b e expanded t o i n c l u d e b r o a d c a s t of d e b a t e s among q u a l i f i e d p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s , m a j o r p a r t y , minor p a r t y and i n d e p e n d e n t . Q u a l i f i c a t i o n might b e based upon a formula s i m i l a r t o t h a t of t h e p r e s e n t f u n d i n g , o r one w i t h d i f f e r e n t p e r c e n t a g e s o f v o t e r s u p p o r t o r a minimum amount of s u p p o r t a s r e f l e c t e d i n S t a t e b a l l o t access requirements. 471 - While t h e p o t e n t i a l c o n s t i t u e n c y o f a1 1 residential candidates i s the same, namely t h e v o t e s of t h e n a t i o n , and a l l p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s f a c e much t h e same problems o f c a r r y i n g t h e i r message t o t h e v o t e r s , c o n g r e s s i o n a l constituencies are different. Differences e x i s t not only a m n g the candidates of d i f f e r e n t S t a t e s b u t a l s o among House c a n d i d a t e s w i t h i n t h e same S t a t e . T h e r e f o r e , v a r i a t i o n s i n geography, p o p u l a t i o n d e n s i t y and media c o s t s must b e added t o t h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n any p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t l e g i s l a t i o n which i n c l u d e s congressional candidates. Whatever form enhancement of t h e environment f o r p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t m i g h t t a k e , p a r t i c u l a r c a r e must b e t a k e n t o p r o t e c t t h e r i g h t s o f minor p a r t y and i n d e p e n d e n t c a n d i d a t e s , t o a s s u r e some e q u a l i t y o f a c c e s s t o t h e m a r k e t p l a c e of p o l i t i c a l e x p r e s s i o n . requirement. Concern f o r s u c h r i g h t s i s i n t r i n s i c t o t h e e q u a l t i m e While p u b l i c p o l i c y may n o t b e s e r v e d by e n c o u r a g i n g s p l i n t e r p a r t y o r f r i v o l o u s c a n d i d a c i e s , d e r e g u l a t i o n o r r e p e a l of t h o s e r e g u l a t i o n s c u r r e n t l y i n p l a c e a r e s e e n by some a s a d a n g e r t o a c c e s s t o t h e e l e c t o r a t e by t h i r d p a r t y and i n d e p e n d e n t c a n d i d a t e s . 471 See G o t t l i e b , S t e p h e n E . , The Role of Law i n t h e B r o a d c a s t of P o l i t i c a l ~ e b a G ,37 Fed. B . J . 1, 13-14 ( 1 9 7 8 ) . With r e s p e c t t o t h e r i g h t s o f minor p a r t y and i n d e p e n d e n t c a n d i d a t e s , t h e Supreme Court h a s upheld t h e F e d e r a l law which p r o v i d e s p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g of p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t minor p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s a r e t r e a t e d - d i f f e r e n t l y i n t h e law t h a n a r e m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s . 481 However, i t may b e a r g u e d t h a t t h e u s e o f b r o a d c a s t i n g f a c i l i t i e s p r e s e n t s s u f f i c i e n t l y d i f f e r e n t p o l i c y i s s u e s t h a n does t h e r i g h t t o p u b l i c funds so t h a t somewhat d i f f e r e n t c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s may govern. The Supreme C o u r t h a s r e c o g n i z e d t h e r i g h t s of m i n o r p a r t i e s i n a v a r i e t y o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s 491 and h a s s a i d t h a t a l l p o l i t i c a l i d e a s c a n n o t and s h o u l d n o t b e 7 c h a n n e l e d i n t o t h e programs of o u r two m a j o r p a r t i e s . H i s t o r y h a s amply proved t h e v i r t u e of p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y b y m i n o r i t y , d i s s e n t g r o u p s , who i n numerable t i m e s have b e e n i n t h e vanguard of d e m o c r a t i c t h o u g h t and whose programs were ultimately accepted. Mere unorthodoxy o r d i s s e n t from t h e p r e v a i l i n g a r e s i s n o t t o be condemned; i n d e e d , t h e a b s e n c e of such v o i c e s c o u l d be s e e n a s a - symptom o f g r a v e i l l n e s s i n our s o c i e t y . 501 PROPOSALS TO AMEND L A W Some of t h e p r o p o s a l s t o amend t h e law a r e d i s c u s s e d below. have been grouped i n t o e i g h t g e n e r a l c a t e g o r i e s a s f o l l o w s : The p r o p o s a l s C a t e g o r y 111--Deregulate A l l O r Most A s p e c t s of Programming of Radio S t a t i o n s ; Category $12--Repeal Entirely O r To A Limited Degree Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s R e q u i r e m e n t s ; C a t e g o r y 113--Provide In Law For Treatment Of T h i r d P a r t y And Independent C a n d i d a t e s ; C a t e g o r y #4--Provide I n Law F o r S p o n s o r s h i p Of D e b a t e s ; C a t e g o r y #5--Tighten Provisions Prohibiting ~ o r e i g nOwnership Of TV O r Cable Systems; Category $16--Amend 48/ Federal Elect i o n Buckley v . Valeo, 424 U . S . 1 ( 1976). 491 ~ i l l i a m s v .Rhodes, 393 U.S. 2 3 ( 1 9 6 8 ) ; A n d e r s o n v . C e l e b r e z z e , 1 0 3 S. C t . 1564, 75 L . Ed.2d 547 ( 1983). 501 - Sweezy v . New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234, 250-251 (1957). U.S. Campaign Act P r o v i s i o n s A p p l i c a b l e To F i n a n c i n g Debates ; C a t e g o r y #7--Special P r o v i s i o n s f o r C a n d i d a t e Access To B r o a d c a s t Media; and Category H8--Misc e l l a n e o u s Proposals. Category # l . -- D e r e g u l a t e A l l O r Most A s p e c t s Of Programming Of Radio S t a t i o n s S. 5 5 i n t r o d u c e d by S e n a t o r Goldwater on J a n u a r y 2 6 , 1983, p r o v i d e s f o r d e r e g u l a t i o n of t h e r a d i o b r o a d c a s t i n g i n d u s t r y and e s t a b l i s h e s a renewal proc e d u r e f o r b o t h r a d i o and TV l i c e n s e e s . The b i l l was r e p o r t e d by t h e S e n a t e Committee on Commerce, S c i e n c e , and T r a n s p o r t a t i o n ( w i t h o u t w r i t t e n r e p o r t ) w i t h amendments o n F e b r u a r y 1 5 , 1983 and passed t h e S e n a t e , amended, o n F e b r u a r y 17, - 1983. 511 The b i l l was r e f e r r e d t o t h e House Committee on Energy and Commerce on F e b r u a r y 2 2 , 1983. O t h e r b i l l s w i t h s i m i l a r o b j e c t i v e s on which no f u r t h e r a c t i o n h a s b e e n t a k e n t o d a t e i n c l u d e H.R. 2370, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . S w i f t o n March 2 4 , 1983 and r e f e r r e d t o t h e House Energy and Commerce Committee. Among t h e many p r o v i s i o n s of t h i s b i l l i s a p r o v i s i o n t h a t would e x p l i c i t l y exempt c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s from - e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s . 521 See a l s o H.R. 2382, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Tauke on March 24, 1983; H.R. 2873, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Luken o n May 3 , 1983. Category 412. ----- Repeal E n t i r e l y O r To A L i m i t e d Degree Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s Requirements -- P r o p o s a l : Repeal The Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s And F a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e s And E l i m i n a t e The Lowest U n i t Charge F o r P o l i t i c a l A d v e r t l s l n e - - - I - - - - - - ~ P r o v i s i o n s of t h i s t y p e a r e i n S. 1917, Freedom Of E x p r e s s i o n A c t , i n t r o d u c e d by S e n a t o r Packwood on October 3 , 1983. The purpose of t h e b i l l i s t o p r o h i b i t t h e FCC from r e g u l a t i n g t h e c o n t e n t o f any e l e c t r o n i c ccnnmunications, i n c l u d i n g c a b l e and s a t e l l i t e t r a n s m i s s i o n s . The o b j e c t i v e i s t o a c c o r d t o t h e b r o a d c a s t media t h e same t r e a t m e n t i n t h e F e d e r a l law a s i s accorded t o t h e p r i n t m e d i a . ---a- - ------ 521 511 -- 129 Cong. Rec. S1289-S1293 ( F e b . 1 7 , 1983, d a i l y ed .) . -- For remarks o f Mr. S w i f t , d i s c u s s i n g b i l l , s e e 1 2 9 Cong. Rec. E1369-E1371. Those who s u p p o r t l e g i s l a t i o n of t h i s kind b e l i e v e t h a t c o n t e n t r e g u l a t i o n i n f r i n g e s on t h e e l e c t r o n i c m e d i a ' s F i r s t Amendment r i g h t s , c h i l l s e d i t o r i a l d i s c r e t i o n , and c a u s e s s e l f - c e n s o r s h i p and t h a t e l i m i n a t i o n o f FCC r u l e s would improve t h e p u b l i c ' s a c c e s s t o i n f o r m a t i o n . On i n t r o d u c i n g h i s b i l l , S e n a t o r Packwood s a i d t h a t h i s g o a l s a r e i m p o r t a n t t o t h e p r i n t media a s i t becomes i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h e l e c t r o n i c communications t h r o u g h new t e c h n o l o g i e s such a s t e l e t e x t . S e n a t o r Packwood c o n t e n d s t h a t p r i n t p r o t e c t i o n s may b e l o s t i n a n e n v i r o m e n t where r e g u l a t i o n of e d i t o r i a l c o n t e n t i s permissible. 53/ - S. 22 i n t r o d u c e d by S e n a t o r h-oxmire on January 26, 1983, p r o v i d e s t h a t t h e term "public i n t e r e s t , convenience, and n e c e s s i t y " s h a l l n o t be c o n s t r u e d t o r e q u i r e b r o a d c a s t e r s t o p r o v i d e time t o any p e r s o n f o r t h e e x p r e s s i o n of any viewpoint. It r e p e a l s t h e a u t h o r i t y of t h e FCC t o revoke a s t a t i o n l i c e n s e o r c o n s t r u c t i o n p e r m i t f o r w i l l f u l o r r e p e a t e d f a i l u r e of a s t a t i o n t o g r a n t o r s e l l broadcast time t o a candidate f o r Federal o f f i c e . The b i l l a l s o r e p e a l s t h e e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t and t h e p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t e d i t o r i a l i z i n g and s u p p o r t of p o l i t i c a l c a n d i d a t e s by noncommercial e d u c a t i o n a l b r o a d c a s t i n g s t a t i o n s . Proposal : Adopt A T h r e e - s t e p Phase-out Of E x i s t i n g Requirement R o b e r t S. Koppel proposes a comprehensive approach t o r e g u l a t i n g e l e c t o r a l communications and s u g g e s t s t h r e e s t e p s t o a c h i e v e minimum g o v e r m e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n , d i v e r s i t y , a c c e s s and f a i r n e s s . -- 531 See remarks of S e n a t o r Packwood, 129 Cong. Rec. S13475-S13476 ( O c t o b e r 3 , H e a r i n g s were h e l d on S. 1917 on J a n u a r y 3 0 , February 1 1983'-;ldaily e d . ) . and 8 , 1984. F i r s t Step--Retain t h e e q u a l time d o c t r i n e and r e a s o n a b l e a c c e s s r u l e f o r b r o a d c a s t t e l e v i s i o n and d e r e g u l a t e , o r l e a v e u n r e g u l a t e d , a l l o t h e r media ( i n c l u d i n g c a b l e t e l e v i s i o n ) . Impairment of b r o a d c a s t e r j o u r n a l i s t i c d i s c r e t i o n i s c o u n t e r b a l a n c e d by maintenance of a v i a b l e e l e c t o r a l s y s t e m , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n a r e a s w i t h few media o u t l e t s . Unregulated media, e l e c t r o n i c and p r i n t , u n d e t e r r e d by t h e e q u a l t ime r e q u i r e m e n t , m u l d be f r e e t o meet p u b l i c demand f o r a d d i t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l programming and r e g u l a t o r s c o u l d o b s e r v e whether d e r e g u l a t i o n c a n a c h i e v e r e l a t i v e f a i r n e s s i n t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a l l c a n d i d a t e s . Second Step-When c a b l e s u b s c r i p t i o n exceeds s i x t y - f i v e o r s e v e n t y p e r c e n t of American h o u s e h o l d s , t h e second s t e p would d r o p t h e r e a s o n a b l e a c c e s s r u l e from b r o a d c a s t t e l e v i s i o n , impose a n a c c e s s c h a n n e l r e q u i r e m e n t on c a b l e t e l e v i s i o n , and l e a v e o t h e r media u n r e g u l a t e d . Access r e g u l a t i o n of c a b l e t e l e v i s i o n , however, may be u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l ; i n which c a s e , i t would be d e l e t e d . Although, t h e a c c e s s r e q u i r e m e n t c o u l d b e u n n e c e s s a r y i f c a b l e o p e r a t o r s made a c c e s s a v a i l a b l e on t h e i r own i n i t i a t i v e t o avoid r e g u l a t i o n . T h i r d S t e p - F i n a l l y , when e x p r i e n c e d e m o n s t r a t e s t h a t a d e q u a t e a c c e s s t o widely-watched media i s a v a i l a b l e f o r a1 1 p o l i t i c a l c a n d i d a t e s and t h e u n r e g u l a t e d media m a i n t a i n a t l e a s t a semblance of b a l a n c e and f a i r n e s s i n t h e i r coverage of p o l i t i c a l c a n d i d a t e s , t h e n a l l mass communications t e c h n o l o g i e s would b e d e r e g u l a t e d . 541 - Proposal : -- - - Do Not R e ~ e a lF a i r n e s s D o c t r i n e O r R e a s o n a b l e A c c e s s Provisions Am0 ng t h o s e who b e l i e v e t h a t t h e f a i r n e s s d o c t r i n e and r e a s o n a b l e a c c e s s - r u l e s s h o u l d be r e t a i n e d a r e t h e 1979 T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund Task F o r c e . 551 Koppel, Robert s . , The A p p l i c a b i l i t y o f t h e Equal Time D o c t r i n e 541 and t h e Reasonable Access Rule t o E l e c t i o n s i n t h e New Media E r a , 2 0 Harv. J. on L e g i s . 499, 536-539 ( 1 9 8 3 ) . With The N a t i o n Watching--Report of t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund Task 551 F o r c e o n T e l e v i s e d P r e s i d e n t i a1 D e b a t e s , L e x i n g t o n , M a s s a c h u s e t t s , L e x i n g t o n Books, 1979, a t p. 14, n o t e 4 , h e r e i n a f t e r r e f e r r e d t o a s t h e 1979 Report of t h e ~ w e n t i e t hC e n t u r y Fund Task F o r c e . C a t e g o r y 413. P r o v i d e I n Law For Treatment O f T h i r d P a r t y And Independent C a n d i d a t e s _ I - Many commentators s h a r e t h e views e x p r e s s e d i n t h e r e p o r t of t h e 1979 T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Task F o r c e t h a t accommodating major c a n d i d a t e s who a r e n o t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of t h e n a t i o n ' s two m a j o r p a r t i e s p r e s e n t s t h e s i n g l e most d i f f i c u l t i s s u e i n d e t e r m i n i n g who i s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n p r e s i d e n t i a l d e b a t e s and t o what e x t e n t . 561 - T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Task F o r c e i n 1979 concluded t h a t i f s i g n i f i c a n t t h i r d p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s emerge, t h e y s h o u l d be i n v i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n p r e s i d e n t i a l debates. The problem i s t o r e c o g n i z e t h e c l a i m s of s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t e n d e r s w h i l e n o t g i v i n g added encouragement t o t h e s p l i n t e r o r m a r g i n a l o r s i n g l e - i s s u e - c a n d i d a t e s who p r o l i f e r a t e i n p r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n y e a r s . 57/ Proposal: Amend Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s (Equal Time) Requirements With Respect To C a n d i d a t e E l i g i b i l i t y And Amount Of Time By E s t a b l i s h i n g E l i g i b i l i t y And Amount Of TV Time BY Using A Formula T h e r e a r e p r o p o s a l s t o d e t e r m i n e t h e amount of time a c a n d i d a t e would be e n t i t l e d t o by u s i n g a formula s i m i l a r t o t h a t used t o d e t e r m i n e t h e amount o f p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g which m a j o r and minor p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s a r e e n t i t l e d t o i n a general election. I n t h e e x i s t i n g F e d e r a l law, f o r p u r p o s e s of t h e P r e s i d e n t i a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Fund, a "major p a r t y " i s d e f i n e d a s o n e whose c a n d i d a t e f o r P r e s i d e n t i n - t h e p r e c e d i n g e l e c t i o n r e c e i v e d 25% o r more of t h e p o p u l a r v o t e . 581 A "minor p a r t y " i s d e f i n e d a s o n e whose c a n d i d a t e i n t h e l a s t e l e c t i o n r e c e i v e d 5% o r m r e of t h e 561 1979 Report of t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund Task F o r c e on T e l e v i s e d p r e s i d e n t i a l ~ e b a i e s , s u p r a , a t p. 9. - I d . , a t pp. 9-10. -.- 581 - 2 6 U.S.C. §9OO2(6). popular v o t e 2 1 and a n o r "minor" p a r t y . new p a r t y " i s d e f i n e d a s a p a r t y which i s n e i t h e r a "major" I1 601 The system of p u b l i c funding of p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s provides t h a t c a n d i d a t e s of t h e two major p a r t i e s a r e e n t i t l e d t o equal amounts of ~ u b l i cf u n d s ; c a n d i d a t e s of minor p a r t i e s t o amounts based on t h e r a t i o of t h e v o t e r e c e i v e d by each minor p a r t y ' s c a n d i d a t e i n t h e preceding e l e c t i o n t o t h e a v e r a g e v o t e r e c e i v e d by t h e major p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s ; and i f a new p a r t y ' s c a n d i d a t e r e c e i v e s a t l e a s t 5% o r more of t h e v o t e i n t h e p r e s e n t e l e c t i o n , p o s t - e l e c t i o n funds a r e given on t h e r a t i o formula f o r minor p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s . Those who support t h e use of a formula concept u s u a l l y recanmend t h a t t h e r e be a f l o o r , some minimum f i g u r e of r e g i s t e r e d p a r t y membership, b e f o r e a c l a i m t o e q u a l time i s honored, and t h e n only on a b a s i s of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n p r o p o r t i o n a l t o t h e membership of o t h e r p a r t i e s . They view b a s i n g t h e r i g h t t o e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s on a formula a s more d e s i r a b l e t h a n t o t a l r e p e a l of S e c t i o n 315. Such r e p e a l , t h e y b e l i e v e goes too f a s t and t o o f a r because t h e e q u i t i e s involved - a r e canplex and t o t a l r e p e a l would throw t h e baby o u t w i t h t h e b a t h w a t e r . 611 Another formula, s i m i l a r t o t h e d i f f e r e n t i a l formula used i n t h e p r e s i d e n t i a l p u b l i c funding law, r e q u i r e s s u b s t a n t i a l l y lower t h r e s h o l d p e r c e n t a g e s canpared t o t h e p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g formula a s f o l l o w s : Public Financing Major P a r t y Minor P a r t y New P a r t y Independent Candidates 5% " II II I' 5% I t 11 post-elect ion funding No s p e c i f i c provisions 591 26 U.S.C. §9002(7) 601 - 26 U.S.C. §9002(8). .- at 25% of popular v o t e Siepmann, 611 pz 138-141. -- Broadcast Access 3% of popular v o t e It I1 II 1% 1.5% q u a l i f i e d v o t e r s s i g n a t u r e s on p e t i t i o n s q u a l i f i e s a s "major" .5% q u a l i f i e s a s "minor" Same a s new p a r t y above - C h a r l e s A , , Were They ' G r e a t ' ? i n The Great Debates, s u p r a , While c r i t i c s may a r g u e t h a t t h e s e p e r c e n t a g e s a r e too low, t h e a u t h o r o f t h e p l a n s a y s t h a t t h e y a r e c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h e h i s t o r y o f m a j o r and minor p a r t i e s and would n o t q u a l i f y a n unmanageable number of c a n d i d a t e s . S i n c e 1900, o n l y s i x t h i r d p a r t y p r e s i d e n t i a l c a q d i d a t e s have r e c e i v e d 3 p e r c e n t o r m r e of t h e p o p u l a r v o t e , o n l y twelve have p o l l e d m r e t h a n 1 p e r c e n t - b u t l e s s t h a n 3 p e r c e n t . 62/ Under t h i s p l a n , t h e a l l o c a t i o n of time between m a j o r , m i n o r and new p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s would b e a s follows-I f b r o a d c a s t e r g r a n t e d time t o a m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e , i t would be r e q u i r e d t o g r a n t e q u a l t i m e t o o t h e r major c a n d i d a t e s and h a l f a s much t o minor c a n d i d a t e s . I f b r o a d c a s t e r g r a n t e d time t o a m i n o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e , i t would be r e q u i r e d t o g r a n t e q u a l t i m e t o o t h e r minor c a n d i d a t e s and h a l f a s much t o major c a n d i d a t e s . B r o a d c a s t e r c o u l d g r a n t time t o c a n d i d a t e who was n e i t h e r m a j o r n o r m i n o r w i t h o u t h a v i n g t o g r a n t t i m e t o major and minor c a n d i d a t e s . 631 - 621 Barrow, s u p r a , a t 145; s e e a l s o E q u a l i z i n g C a n d i d a t e s ~ x ~ r e s s i o n51 , Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1 1 3 , 1 2 3 ( 1 9 8 2 ) . ' Opportunities for 631 Barrow, s u p r a , a t pp. 145-147; s e e a l s o H e r b e r t E . Alexander, Money I n ~ x i t i c s ,Washington, P u b l i c A f f a i r s P r e s s , 1972. pp. 273-274; Newton N. Minow, f o r m e r chairman FCC, i n V o t e r s ' Time, New York, T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund, 1971. pp. 20-27. Category # 4 . Proposal: - -- P r o v i d e I n Law For S p o n s o r s h i p Of D e b a t e s Amend Sec. - - _ _ onp profit Sponsorship .--------.----- . I _ _ Among t h o s e who recommend h a v i n g a n o r g a n i z a t i o n l i k e t h e League of Women V o t e r s Sponsor d e b a t e s was t h e 1979 T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund T a s k F o r c e o n - T e l e v i s e d P r e s i d e n t i a l D e b a t e s . 64/ Arguments f o r t h i s p r o p o s a l i n c l u d e t h e c o n f i d e n c e c a n d i d a t e s and t h e p u b l i c would h a v e i n t h e f a i r n e s s o f d e b a t e s a r i s i n g from a l a c k o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t , o r c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t , and from a d e m o n s t r a t e d d e s i r e t o perform a p u b l i c s e r v i c e . Arguments a g a i n s t t h e p r o p o s a l i n c l u d e c o n c e r n s t h a t n o n p a r t i s a n g r o u p s frequently experience d i f f i c u l t y i n r a i s i n g the necessary funding for the debates. Also some of t h e s e g r o u p s o f f e r mixed c r e d e n t i a l s and may n o t i n s p i r e p u b l i c - t r u s t . 65/ Proposal: - Amend Sec. 315 To P r o v i d e T h a t P r e s i d e n t i a l D e b a t e s May Be Sponsored By T e l e v i s i o n Networks T h i s p r o p o s a l would r e i n f o r c e t h e r e c e n t FCC r u l i n g by a n e x p l i c i t s t a t u t o r y provision. The arguments i n f a v o r of t h e p r o p o s a l i n c l u d e t h e e x p e r i e n c e of t h e n e t w o r k s who h a v e h o s t e d d e b a t e s i n t h e p a s t , have t h e n e c e s s a r y t e c h n i c a l e x p e r t i s e , and have a d e q u a t e f i n a n c i a l r e s o u r c e s . 641 --CI - 1979 R e p o r t of t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund Task F o r c e , s u p r a , a t p. 1 2 . 65/ , Swerdlow, J o e l L., Beyond Debate--A Paper on T e l e v i s e d P r e s i d e n t i a l ~ e b a z s ,New York, T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund, 1984. pp. 56-59. Arguments a g a i n s t i n c l u d e c o n c e r n w i t h t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l b r o a d c a s t i n g i n t h e networks t h a t m i g h t r e s u l t and p o s s i b l e c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t - w i t h t h e n e t w o r k s ' economic i n t e r e s t s . 661 Proposal: Amend Sec. 315 To P r o v i d e B i p a r t i s a n P o l i t i c a l P a r t y S p o n s o r s h i p Those who f a v o r t h i s p r o p o s a l c o n t e n d t h a t p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s a r e i n many ways t h e l o g i c a l e n t i t i e s t o s p o n s o r d e b a t e s . Top p a r t y o f f i c i a l s a r e d e m o c r a t i c a l l y s e l e c t e d and c a n b e h e l d a c c o u n t a b l e t o t h e p u b l i c . The p a r t i e s c o u l d e a s i l y s o l i c i t canmitments from t h e i r own nominees, h a v e n e c e s s a r y r e s o u r c e s - and a r e e x p e r t a t p o l i t i c a l communication. 671 Those opposed contend t h a t a s a p r a c t i c a l m a t t e r p a r t i e s a r e u n l i k e l y t o impose t h e i r w i l l on p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s ; t h a t t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act of 1971 l i m i t s on p a r t y e x p e n d i t u r e s i n b e h a l f of nominees m i g h t have t o be - amended. 681 And s u c h a n arrangement would n o t p r o v i d e f o r t h i r d p a r t y and independent c a n d i d a t e s Proposal: . - Amend Equal O p p o r t u n i t i e s ( ~ q u a l~ i m e )Requirements To S p e c i f y I n Law Who Is To S e t R u l e s For Deb-ates A v a r i a t i o n of t h i s p r o p o s a l i s t h a t a committee canposed of t h e chairmen of t h e R e p u b l i c a n and Democratic P a r t i e s and t h e League of Womn V o t e r s - b e e s t a b l i s h e d t o s e t t h e r u l e s f o r t h e d e b a t e . 691 661 Id., 671 chai=n 681 691 - a t pp. 48-52. Washington P o s t , February 9 , 1984, p.A7 q u o t i n g Newton Minow, a former of t h e FCC and a prominent D e m c r a t . 1979 T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund Task F o r c e , s u p r a , a t pp. New York Times, November 2 3 , 1983, p. A24. 53-54. Establish - Proposal: A F e d e r a l Debate Commission Those who f a v o r t h i s proposal a s s e r t t h a t c o n t i n u i t y i n planning and e x e c u t i n g d e b a t e s i s e s s e n t i a l and t h a t insurmountable problems w i l l c r i p p l e any n o n p a r t i s a n group t h a t a t t a n p t s t o sponsor d e b a t e s . The proposal i s t h a t a commission be c h a r t e r e d by Congress and i n c l u d e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from a n e x t e n s i v e c r o s s - s e c t i o n of s o c i e t y and be funded w i t h p u b l i c money. Those who have r e s e r v a t i o n s contend t h a t i t would c r e a t e a n o t h e r bureaucracy unable t o r e s i s t p o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e s and t h a t i t may n o t be proper r o l e f o r - government i n t e r f e r e n c e . 701 Proposal : P r o v i d e For Sponsorship Of Debates By U.S. S e n a t e O r House Of R e ~ r e s e n t a t i v e sA s An I n s t i t u t i o n O r Bv P a r t v Caucuses Of E i t h e r House Some view t h e s p o n s o r s h i p by Members of Congress a s d e s i r a b l e a s providing c o n t i n u i t y and h i g h l e v e l s of p u b l i c t r u s t . Others might view t h i s r o l e f o r Congress and Members a s i n a p p r o p r i a t e - and i n c o n s i s t e n t with t h e i r mission t o l e g i s l a t e i n t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t . 711 Category #5. Proposal: - Tighten P r o v i s i o n s P r o h i b i t i n g F o r e i g n Ownership Of TV O r Cable Svs t ems --- Amend The Law To P r o h i b i t T e l e v i s i o n O r Cable T e l e v i s i o n Systems Which Are Owned BY Foreinn E n t i t i e s ~ r o m ~ ~ o n s"o Debates r i n ~ --.Between c a n d i d a t e s For p u b l i c O f f i c e - --- A t l e a s t t w o b i l l s , S. 2282 i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Goldwater and H.R. 4840 i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Gore and o t h e r s , b o t h introduced February 9 , 1984, would l i m i t ownership of n a t i o n a l t e l e v i s i o n networks n o t o t h e r w i s e s u b j e c t t o S e c t i o n 310 of t h e Communications Act of 1934 (which p r o h i b i t s g r a n t i n g s t a t i o n l i c e n s e s t o 701 Karayn, James, The Case For Permanent P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates i n past& F u t u r e Of P r e s i d e n t i a l Debates, s u p r a , a t pp. 155-168; Beyond Debate, s u p r a , a t pp. 54-55. 711 - Beyond Debate, s u p r a , a t pp. 55-56. a l i e n s and f o r e i g n governments) and o f c e r t a i n l a r g e c a b l e t e l e v i s i o n systems by foreign e n t i t i e s o r aliens. The i m p l i c a t i o n s of f o r e i g n ownership o f b r o a d c a s t i n g and c a b l e s t a t i o n s would a p p e a r t o i n j e c t a d d i t i o n a l e l e m e n t s t o be c o n s i d e r e d - i n d e t e r m i n i n g who s h o u l d s p o n s o r d e b a t e s . 721 Category # 6 . Amend F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act P r o v i s i o n s A p p-l i c a b l e To F i n a n c i n g Debates Proposal: P r o v i d e I n Law For F i n a n c i n g Of D e b a t e s I f p o l i c y d e c i s i o n i s t h a t p r i v a t e g r o u p s should s p o n s o r d e b a t e s , t h e law s h o u l d b e amended t o e x p l i c i t l y p e r m i t o r p r o h i b i t s o l i c i t a t i o n of f u n d i n g from - c o r p o r a t e , l a b o r u n i o n and f o u n d a t i o n s o u r c e s . 731 Category #7. S p e c i a l P r o v i s i o n s For C a n d i d a t e Access To B r o a d c a s t Media Proposal : P r o v i d e Access To B r o a d c a s t Media To O f f s e t B r o a d c a s t s P a i d For Bv Independent E x v e n d i t u r e s P r o v i s i o n s of t h i s type a r e i n c l u d e d i n S. 151, i n t r o d u c e d by S e n a t o r - -. S65 3 S 6 5 4 , Proxmire on J a n u a r y 2 6 , 1983 ( s e e remarks o f M r . Proxmire, 129 Cong. Rec January 26, 1983, d a i l y e d . ) . A d i f f e r e n t approach w i t h t h e same o b j e c t i v e i s t a k e n i n H.R. h e n s i v e b i l l i n t r o d u c e d by Messrs. Obey e t a 1 t h r u s t of H.R. . on 4428, a canpre- November 1 6 , 1983. The main 4428 i s t o emphasize and enhance i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o c a n d i d a t e s t h r o u g h t h e d e v i c e of p r o v i d i n g a d d i t i o n a l c r e d i t s a g a i n s t F e d e r a l p e r s o n a l income t a x f o r c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s . -- 72/ See remarks o f M r . Goldwater, 130 Cong. Rec. S1228-S1229 ( ~ e b r u a r9,~ 1 9 8 4 T d a i l y ed ) .. 731 - - 1979 Report of t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund Task F o r c e , s u p r a , a t p. 1 1 . H.R. 4428 r e q u i r e s a b r o a d c a s t i n g s t a t i o n which p e r m i t s a n y i n d i v i d u a l , p o l i t i c a l committee o r o t h e r p e r s o n ( o t h e r t h a n a c a n d i d a t e o r c a n d i d a t e ' s a u t h o r i z e d committee o r p o l i t i c a l p a r t y ) t o p u r c h a s e t i m on a b r o a d c a s t i n g s t a t i o n t o support a candidate, o r t o c r i t i c i z e the views, p o s i t i o n , a c t i o n o r q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of a c a n d i d a t e , t o p r o v i d e t o a n y c a n d i d a t e whose v i e w s , ~ o s i t i o n s , a c t i o n s o r q u a l i f i c a t i o n s were c r i t i c i z e d , o r t o any opponent of t h e c a n d i d a t e s u p p o r t e d , t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o u s e t h e same amount of t i m e , d u r i n g t h e same p e r i o d of d a y , w i t h o u t c h a r g e . P r o v i s i o n s of t h i s t y p e a r e found a l s o i n S. 1346, i n t r o d u c e d by Mr. Bentsen -- o n May 2 3 , 1983 ( s e e remarks o f M r . B e n t s e n , 129 Cong. Rec. S7267, May 2 3 , 1983, d a i l y ed .) and H.R. 2959, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Hamilton on May 1 0 , 1983 ( s e e r a n a r k s -- o f M r . Hamilton, 129 Cong. Rec. H2781-2783, Proposal: May 1 0 , 1983, d a i l y e d . ) . - P r o v i d e P u b l i c F i n a n c i n g For Some O r A l l P o l i t i c a l A d v e r t i s i n g . . a h - o v i s i o n s of t h i s t y p e a r e i n H.R. 1893, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . J a c o b s o n March 3 , 1983. H.R. 1893 p r o v i d e s p u b l i c f i n a n c i n g f o r a d v e r t i s i n g and r e l a t e d e x p e n s e s i n g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s campaigns f o r U.S. House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s and p r o h i b i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n s by m u l t i c a n d i d a t e p o l i t i c a l c a m i t t e e s t o c a n d i d a t e s who a c c e p t such f i n a n c i n g . Amount of p u b l i c funds depends on medium, 90 m i n u t e s TV t i m e , 135 m i n u t e s r a d i o t i m e , 126 column i n c h e s newspaper s p a c e , o r pay c o s t s f o r t e l e p h o n e banks i f p a r t of TV o r r a d i o . Each r a d i o and TV a p p e a r a n c e i s t o be a t l e a s t 5 m i n u t e s l o n g , e a c h newspaper a d v e r t i s e m e n t no l e s s t h a n 10 c o l u m i n c h e s . Proposal : - P o s t p o n e F e d e r a l Communications Commission's P r o p o s a l To E l i m i n a t e P e r s o n a l A t t a c k And P o l i t i c a l E d i t o r i a l R u l e s - H.R. co-sponsors 4324 was i n t r o d u c e d o n November 8 , 1983, by N e s s r s . Swift and 30 i n c l u d i n g M r . D i n g e l l , Chairman of t h e House Energy and Commerce Committee, and M r . W i r t h , Chairman of t h e Telecommunications Subcommittee. The p r o p o s a l would p r e v e n t t h e FCC from m d i f y i n g o r e l i m i n a t i n g t h e FCC p e r s o n a l a t t a c k and p o l i t i c a l e d i t o r i a l r u l e s b e f o r e December 3 1 , 1984. After t h a t d a t e , t h e FCC c o u l d move once Congress h a s b e e n n o t i f i e d . Congress would t h e n h a v e 120 l e g i s l a t i v e days t o b l o c k a c t i o n b e f o r e FCC r u l e s could take e f f e c t . The FCC proposed e l i m i n a t i n g t h e s e r u l e s i n May, 1983 i n r e s p o n s e t o NAB petition. 741 - S i m i l a r , b u t not i d e n t i c a l , p r o v i s i o n i s found i n H.R. M r . Wirth on November 1 8 , 1983. 4573, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Wirth's b i l l a l s o provides for f r e e response by s u p p o r t e r s of a c a n d i d a t e t o p a i d b r o a d c a s t messages when a c a n d i d a t e ' s v i e w o r qualifications are criticized. P r o ~ o s a l : I n s t e a d Of " ~ d b a t e s " Give 90 Minutes Of TV Time To Each C a n d i d a t e Some propose t h a t i n s t e a d of a d e b a t e f o r m u l a , i t would b e m r e u s e f u l t o g i v e each c a n d i d a t e 90 m i n u t e s of TV time t o p r e s e n t a program of h i s own w i t h t h e people h e would have i n h i s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . T h i s , t h e y b e l i e v e , would b e - more meaningful t o t h e v o t e r s . 7 5 1 741 - Communications D a i l y , Thursday, November 17, 1983, pp. 5-6. 751 S h a l e s , Tom, R i n g s i d e A t The Democrats' Family Feud--Going For The M a i n T h a n c e A t The Main Event, Washington P o s t , J a n u a r y 16, 1984, p. B 1 , q u o t i n g Tony Schwartz. Proposal : - - - R e q u i r e B r o a d c a s t e r s To P r o v i d e F r e e Time Campaign media c o n s u l t a n t R o b e r t S q u i e r s u g g e s t s t h a t b r o a d c a s t i n g s t a t i o n s be r e q u i r e d t o p r o v i d e f r e e t i m e e q u a l l y and f a i r l y t o a l l d u l y a u t h o r i z e d c a n d i d a t e s f o r p u b l i c o f f i c e a s a means t o c u t down on c o s t l y campaigns. C a t e g o r y 418. 761 Miscellaneous Proposals P r opos a 1 : Expand The P u b l i c Forum Of The P r e s i d e n t i a l E l e c t i o n C o n t e s t Supporters argue t h a t b r o a d c a s t e r s should be encouraged t o develop a g r e a t e r v a r i e t y o f programs t o inform c i t i z e n s a b o u t t h e p r e s i d e n c y , t h e c a n d i d a t e s and t h e p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s . Proposal: 771 - S p e c i f y I n The Law The Number O f D e b a t e s P r o p o n e n t s c o n t e n d t h e r e s h o u l d b e a s e r i e s of 4 d e b a t e s i n c l u d i n g o n e between Vice R e s i d e n t i a l c o n t e n d e r s a s i n 1976. The number of d e b a t e s s h o u l d b e l i m i t e d so t h a t c a n d i d a t e s w i l l b e f o r c e d t o u s e o t h e r means of - campaigning on and o f f t h e a i r . 781 Proposal : Specify - -- The Format To Be Used P r o p o n e n t s b e l i e v e t h a t t h e t o p i c s t o be d i s c u s s e d s h o u l d be p r e c i s e l y - d e f i n e d by t h e i n d e p e n d e n t o r g a n i z e r s . 791 761 Bonafede , Dom, C o s t l y Campaigns : C o n s u l t a n t s Cash I n A s C a n d i d a t e s s p e n d m a t They k s t , N a t i o n a l J o u r n a l , A p r i l 1 6 , 1983. pp. 789-792 a t p. 792. 771 781 supra, a t .- --791 - 1979 Report of t h e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y Fund Task F o r c e , s u p r a , a t pp. 6 , 12. S e l d r s , G i l b e r t , The F u t u r e o f N a t i o n a l Debates i n The G r e a t D e b a t e s , p. 168. New York Times, November 2 3 , 1983, p. A 2 4 . Proposal : - - - P r o h i b i t B r o a d c a s t L i c e n s e e s From R e f u s i n g To S e l l A d v e r t i s i n g Time For Paid E d i t o r i a l s P r o v i s i o n s of t h i s t y p e a r e i n H.R. o n September 28, 1983. I _ - 4012, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . L i v i n g s t o n M r . L i v i n g s t o n ' s measure would a l l o w b r o a d c a s t e r s t o c a r r y a p a i d e d i t o r i a l w i t h o u t a l s o having t o seek o u t and a i r c o n t r a s t i n g viewpoint. B i l l i s i n t e n d e d t o p r o h i b i t s t a t i o n s from summarily t u r n i n g down a l l r e q u e s t s f o r e d i t o r i a l commercials, d o e s not l i m i t b r o a d c a s t e r ' s a b i l i t y t o e x e r c i s e d i s c r e t i o n i n l e n g t h , number and r a t e s f o r s u c h a d s . Violators could b e s u b j e c t t o f i n e up t o $10,000 o r u p t o 5 y e a r s imprisonment. B i l l has been r e f e r r e d t o House Telecommunications Subcommittee. Proposal: Amend The Communications Act Of 1934 To C l a r i f y T h a t The S t a t u t o r y R i g h t Of C a n d i d a t e s To Have Access To ~ r o a d c a s c i n i + a 1 Law P r o v i s i o n s Regarding B r o a d c a s t i n g O f Obscene M a t t e r -- P r o v i s i o n s of t h i s type a r e i n S. 2241, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Denton on -- 2241, 130 Cong. Rec. F e b r u a r y 1 , 1984 ( s e e remarks o f M r . Denton, 1 3 0 Cong. Rec. S682-S683, 1 , 1984 and remarks o f M r . Thurmond, r e . S. F e b r u a r y 2 , 1984) and H.R. February S738, 4699, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . J a c o b s on J a n u a r y 3 1 , 1984. A r e l a t e d b i l l , S. 2168, i n t r o d u c e d by M r . Denton on November 18, 1983, p r o v i d e s t h a t l i c e n s e e s h a l l be under no o b l i g a t i o n t o b r o a d c a s t a n y m a t e r i a l which i s i n v i o l a t i o n of any c r i m i n a l law. Proposal: P r o h i b i t P o l i t i c a l Ads I n L a s t 30--.-Days Of Campaign Robert S q u i e r , campaign media c o n s u l t a n t , i s s a i d t o f a v o r a p l a n t o suspend p a i d p o l i t i c a l a d v e r t i s i n g i n t h e l a s t 30 d a y s of a campaign. The b u l k of p o l i t i c a l a d v e r t i s i n g goes i n t o p a i d media a t t h e end of a campaign, t h i s - would t a k e a t h i r d of t h e money o u t of t h e p r o c e s s . 80/ 801 - - Bonafede, s u p r a , a t p. 792. SUMMARY Some of t h e more s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r s t o be c o n s i d e r e d i n e v a l u a t i n g t h e need f o r l e g i s l a t i v e a c t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t t o b r o a d c a s t c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s are-- - i f f e r e n c e I n Approach Taken By F e d e r a l Cormnunications Commission From T h a t The D Taken By The F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission With Respect To P o l i t i c a l D e b a t e s The F e d e r a l Communications Commission d o e s n o t d i s t i n g u i s h between p a r t i s a n and n o n p a r t i s a n d e b a t e s r e g a r d l e s s of who s p o n s o r s t h e d e b a t e s . On t h e o t h e r hand, t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Commission r e g u l a t i o n s g o v e r n i n g t h e f i n a n c i n g of c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s d i s t i n g u i s h between p a r t i s a n and n o n p a r t i s a n d e b a t e s f o r p u r p o s e s o f t h e a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e p r o h i b i t i o n i n t h e F e d e r a l E l e c t i o n Campaign Act a g a i n s t u s e o f c o r p o r a t e and l a b o r union f u n d s f o r p a r t i s a n p o l i t i c a l p u r p o s e s i n F e d e r a l e l e c t i o n s and f o r p u r p o s e s of d e t e r m i n i n g c o n t r i b u t i o n l i m i t s when o t h e r e n t i t i e s finance debates. The t w d i f f e r e n t a p p r o a c h e s may r e s u l t i n a m b i g u i t i e s which impede t h e s u c c e s s of t h e d e b a t e s and which C o n g r e s s may w i s h t o a d d r e s s . The Sometimes C o n f l i c t i n g R i g h t s And Burdens On B r o a d c a s t e r s Vis-A-Vis And Burdens On The C a n d i d a t e s The R i g h t s On t h e one hand, t h e r e i s i n t e r e s t i n d e r e g u l a t i o n of a l l media a c c e s s and r a t e r e g u l a t i o n f o r c a n d i d a t e s t o r e l i e v e t h e b r o a d c a s t e r s . On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e r e i s i n t e r e s t i n c o n t i n u i n g t h e e x i s t i n g law t o e n s u r e f a i r n e s s t o the candidates. S e c t i o n 315 e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s p r o v i s i o n s a r e d e s i g n e d t o i n s u r e f a i r p l a y i n p a r t y p o l i t i c s , b u t many b e l i e v e t h a t t h e y a p p l y c r u d e and unworkable r u l e s t o s e c u r e i t . A m i d d l e ground may b e t o modify e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e m e n t s by u s e of a formula which would have a d e s c e n d i n g s c a l e of t irne t h a t b r o a d c a s t e r s c o u l d be r e q u i r e d t o make a v a i l a b l e t o c a n d i d a t e s depending on t h e c a n d i d a t e ' s v i a b i l i t y . S u p p o r t e r s of t h i s approach m i g h t a r g u e t h a t i t would l e s s e n burden on b r o a d c a s t e r s w h i l e a t t h e same t i m e e n s u r e some f a i r o p p o r t u n i t y f o r TV e x p o s u r e f o r a l l c a t e g o r i e s of c a n d i d a t e s . APPENDIX A 1984 DEBATES A t t h e t i m e t h i s r e p o r t was p r e p a r e d , t h e major d e b a t e s , o r s i m i l a r e v e n t s which i n v o l v e j o i n t a p p e a r a n c e s by c a n d i d a t e s o n TV ( n o t e v e r y o n e r e g a r d s most of t h e f o r m a t s a s " d e b a t e s " ) , b e t w e n p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e s s c h e d u l e d i n 1984 a r e a s follows : 0 J a n u a r y 15, 1984--sponsored by t h e House Democratic Caucus, a i r e d n a t i o n a l l y by t h e P u b l i c B r o a d c a s t i n g S e r v i c e , o r i g i n a t i n g from Dartmouth C o l l e g e , Hanaver, New amps shire. The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n c l u d e d a l l 8 of t h e major Democrats s e e k i n g t h e n o m i n a t i o n of t h e D e m c r a t i c p a r t y , i n a l p h a b e t i c a l o r d e r , Reubin Askew, Alan Crans t o n , John Glenn, Gary H a r t , E r n e s t Hol l i n g s , J e s s e J a c k s o n , George McGovern, W a l t e r F. Mondale. The e v e n t was c h a i r e d by ABC news c o r r e s p o n d e n t Ted Koppel and P h i l Donahue, t a l k show h o s t . Because of t h e f o r m a t , t h e e v e n t was c o n s i d e r e d t o be not q u i t e a d e b a t e and not q u i t e a " f r e e - f o r - a l l " . 0 J a n u a r y 3 1 , 1984--sponsored by t h e Boston Globe and t h e I n s t i t u t e o f P o l i t i c s of t h e John F . Kennedy S c h o o l of G o v e r m e n t a t Harvard U n i v e r s i t y , a 90-minute progr an l o c a l l y t e l e v i s e d , o r i g i n a t i n g from Cambridge, M a s s a c h u s e t t s . 7 of t h e 8 major Democratic c o n t e n d e r s p a r t i c i p a t e d ( ~ e u b i nAskew d i d n o t p a r t i c i p a t e ) . 0 J a n u a r y 2 1 , 1984--sponsored by c o a l i t i o n of Iowa f a r m e r s , a i r e d n a t i o n a l l y , o r i g i n a t i n g from Iowa S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , Ames , Iowa, on p u b l i c t e l e v i s i o n . 6 of t h e 8 l e a d i n g Democrats p a r t i c i p a t e d (Messers Glenn and Jackson d i d n o t a t t e n d .) The d e b a t e focused on agricultural issues. 0 February 3 , 1984--sponsored by Women i n p o l i t i c s 1984, a 90 m i n u t e program o r i g i n a t i n g f r m Emmanuel C o l l e g e , Boston, M a s s a c h u s e t t s , on WBZ-TV, t h e Boston a f f i l i a t e of t h e N a t i o n a l B r o a d c a s t i n g Company. 6 o f 8 major Democratic c o n t e n d e r s a c c e p t e d i n v i t a t i o n (Askew and Cranston d e c l i n e d ) . Debate focused on i s s u e s of p a r t i c u l a r importance t o women. Moderator was L i z Walker, co-anchor o f WBZ-TV "Eyewitness News". 0 February 11, 1984--sponsored o n S a t u r d a y e v e n i n g a t 9 EST o r i g i n a t i n g from Des Moines, participated. The e v e n t was Chief of t h e R e g i s t e r . 0 February 2 3 , 1984--sponsored by t h e League of Women Voters o r i g i n a t i n g from S t . Anslem's C o l l e g e , M a n c h e s t e r , New Hampshire. A l l 8 of t h e m a j o r Democratic c a n d i d a t e s p a r t i c i p a t e d , The d e b a t e was moderated by ABC news c o r r e s p o n d e n t B a r b a r a W a l t e r s . by t h e Des Moines R e g i s t e r , t o be shown by t h e P u b l i c B r o a d c a s t i n g S e r v i c e , Iowa. A l l 8 Democratic m a j o r c a n d i d a t e s c h a i r e d by James R i s s e r , Washington Bureau 0 March 11, 1984--sponsored from A t l a n t a , G e o r g i a . 0 A p r i l 5 , 1984--sponsored by t h e League of Women V o t e r s , t o o r i g i n a t e from P i t t s b u r g h , P e n n s y l v a n i a . 0 May 2 , 1984--sponsored by t h e League of Women V o t e r s , t o o r i g i n a t e from D a l l a s l ~ o r tWorth, Texas. 1/ by t h e League o f Womn V o t e r s , t o o r i g i n a t e - The League of Women V o t e r s i s r e p o r t e d t o be n e g o t i a t i n g f o r f o u r p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e s and o n e v i c e p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a t e d e b a t e t o b e h e l d a f t e r t h e - n a n i n a t i n g c o n v e n t i o n s t h i s summer. 21 No m e n t i o n was found i n t h e p u b l i c p r e s s of any o f t h e commercial TV networks making p l a n s t o s t a g e d e b a t e s on t h e i r own i n 1984, a l t h o u g h t h e r e may have b e e n some u n r e p o r t e d d i s c u s s i o n of such p l a n s . As m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r i n t h i s r e p o r t , under a r e c e n t r u l i n g of t h e F e d e r a l Communications Commission i n November, 1983, t h e n e t w o r k s a r e now p e r m i t t e d t o s p o n s o r such d e b a t e s . It h a s b e e n r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e growing c o m p e t i t i o n t o s p o n s o r p r e s i d e n t i a l d e b a t e s t h i s f a l l may d i m i n i s h t h e - o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r d e b a t e s between t h e two m a j o r p a r t y c a n d i d a t e s . 3/ 1/ NewYork Times, November 1 4 , 1983, p. B5; S m i t h , S a l l y B e d e l l , Democrats Plan Debate I n Iowa-Public TV t o B r o a d c a s t Event i n Prime T i m o n F e b r u a r y 11, New York Times, J a n u a r y 1 8 , 1 9 7 4 , p. A15; Conconi, Chuck, P e r s o n a l i t i e s , Washington P o s t , J a n u a r y 1 9 , 1984, p. D3; P e t e r s o n , B i l l , H a r t , Askew A t t a c k Mondale--Candidates1 Farm Forum Evolves I n t o T r a d e - P o l i c y F i g h t , Washington P o s t , J a n u a r y 2 2 , 1984, p. A3; Robbins, William, S p e c i f i c Views On Farm Aid Sought From Six Democrats, New York Times, J a n u a r y 2 1 , 1 9 8 4 , p. 7; C l e n d i n e n , D u d l e y , Debate W i l l Put Democrats To T e s t , New York Times, J a n u a r y 1 5 , 1984, p. 2 2 ; R a i n e s , Howell, TV D e b a t e s , t h e G r e a t Campaign E q u a l i z e r s , New York Times, J a n u a r y 27, 1984, p. A16; B a l z , Dan, Seven Democrats Focus T h e i r D e b a t e A t t e n t i o n on P r e s i d e n t Reagan, Washington P o s t , F e b r u a r y 1, 1984, p. A4; Nemy, E n i d , Democrats' F o r m o n Women's I s s u e s , New York Times, F e b r u a r y 3 , 1984, p. B 6 ; B r o d e r , David S . , and B i l l P e t e r s o n , O t h e r Hopefuls A t t a c k Mondale I n Iowa Debate, Washington P o s t , F e b r u a r y 1 2 , 1984, p. A1 ; B a l z , Dan, and M i l t o n Coleman, Democrat i c Hopefuls P r e s e n t B e s t F a c e s , Washington P o s t , F e b r u a r y 2 4 , 1984, p. A l . -2/ -3/ ' C o n c i n i , Chuck, P e r s o n a l i t i e s , Washington P o s t , J a n u a r y 1 9 , 1984, p . D3. Washington P o s t , F e b r u a r y 9 , 1984, p. A7.