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ERIC Number: ED263548
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Broadcast Access and Reply Rights for Politicians and PACs: A Continuing Headache for the FCC.
Gentry, Richard H.
The major policy issues raised by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations with regard to the year-round nature of political media campaigns and the emergence of political action committees (PACs) are explored in this paper. The first part of the paper introduces the major policy issues, specifically who should have an affirmative right of access to the airwaves, how the government can assure fair treatment of all politicians and parties by broadcasters, and how far the government can go to even out the financial resources used to buy air time. The second part of the paper discusses the equal opportunities section of the Communications Act; the "Cullman" policy, which deals with general fairness issues and not specifically with political campaigning; and the "Zapple" policy, an FCC ruling to the effect that it would not be reasonable for a licensee to refuse to sell time to a candidate comparable to that sold to another candidate. The third part of the paper discusses ineffective legislation and a Supreme Court ruling concerning limitations on campaign financing contributions from PACs, and whether the FCC is required to consider PACs as representatives of candidates in light of the PACs' occasional "search and destroy" conduct. The fourth part of the paper focuses on some recent political access cases as predictors of future policy, precedents determining who has access rights during political campaigns, whether the "Zapple" or"Cullman" policies are applicable to PACs asking for response time, and licensees' obligations and liabilities during noncampaign periods. The fifth part considers whether the PACs should be treated as a special case or if those regulations binding them during campaign periods should also do so during noncampaign periods. The paper concludes that the use of "Cullman" obligations would work affirmatively to redress imbalances in media access posed by PACs. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A