National Journal Online

New Coalition To Battle Broadcasters On Transmission Rules

A coalition of 31 cable operators, consumer groups, independent broadcasters, satellite providers, and telecommunications firms on Wednesday launched a lobbying effort to battle broadcasters over the issue of retransmission consent rules. The group, which dubs itself the American Television Alliance, aims to prod Congress and the FCC to begin a process to reform rules that require cable companies to get permission from broadcasters to distribute their programs.

Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 12:04am

GOP Fave Advances In AL-02; Sewell Easily Wins AL-07

AL voters tonight picked an NRCC "Young Gun" to advance in the race against Rep. Bobby Bright (D-AL 02), and Dems selected atty Terri Sewell (D) in the heavily Dem Seventh CD, where the Dem is almost automatically assured of the seat in the fall.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 10:19pm

Bentley Dispatches Byrne, GOP Establishment In AL-GOV Runoff

State Rep. Robert Bentley (R) beat back a push from the entire AL GOP power structure in defeating ex-state Community College chancellor/ex-state Sen. Bradley Byrne (R) tonight, keeping alive the narrative that voters are not in the mood this year to take voting instructions from party bosses.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 10:08pm

Brewer Clearing GOP Field In AZ GOV

Four days after Treas. Dean Martin (R) suspended his campaign, NRA board member/firearms training center owner Owen 'Buz' Mills (R) has announced he is suspending his own bid, leaving the GOP race firmly in the hands of Gov. Jan Brewer (R).

Initially, Mills was seen by observers as a potential threat to Brewer because of his personal wealth and ability to advertise on TV. But the momentum Brewer seized after signing SB 1070 made it difficult for either Mills or Martin to gain any traction in the race.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 8:28pm

Critics Dominate Latest Hearing On Comcast-NBC Merger

Most panelists expressed serious concern, if not outright objection, to the proposed $30 billion merger of Comcast and NBC Universal at a public hearing the FCC held in Chicago Tuesday. "Broadband and the Internet must not become the province of gatekeepers and toll booth collectors," Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps said in his opening remarks at the seventh forum held by the FCC or Congress to evaluate the risks and benefits of the potential union. Copps was the only commissioner to attend the field hearing.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 7:09pm

Why The "Choice" May Not Work

It is becoming a tired refrain: Dems want to make the midterm elections a choice between the 2 parties, fearing ugly consequences if voters view the contests as a chance to pass judgement on Pres. Obama's first years in office.

But the sheer volume of the majority's own successes makes it improbable that Dems will succeed in making the midterms a choice on a national level.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 3:44pm

FCC Weighing Options In Response To Indecency Decision

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a one-sentence statement Tuesday in response to Tuesday's federal appeals court ruling striking down the commission's indecency policy, saying the agency is weighing its options. "We're reviewing the court's decision in light of our commitment to protect children, empower parents, and uphold the First Amendment," Genachowski said. The U.S.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 3:42pm

Democrats Coalesce Around Jobs Message

In a meeting with Pres. Obama today, 15 senior Senate Dems agreed they will focus solely on job creation, in both legislation and messaging, in the months until Nov's election, senators and sources familiar with the meeting said.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 2:51pm

Appeals Court Strikes Down FCC Indecency Policy

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down the FCC's indecency policy, saying it violates the First Amendment. "We now hold that the FCC's policy violates the First Amendment because it is unconstitutionally vague, creating a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said in its ruling. Fox, CBS and other broadcast networks and their affiliates had challenged the FCC's expanded authority to fine stations that air "fleeting expletives" on live television and radio broadcasts.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 2:20pm

NRSC Kicks Off Manchin Research

He may not have declared himself a candidate, but WV Gov. Joe Manchin (D) is already the subject of intense research efforts aimed at uncovering information GOPers might use against him.

Manchin is considering whether to run for the late Sen. Robert Byrd's (D) Senate seat in a special election expected some time this year. He has not officially said he would run, but his desire to serve in the Senate has been a poorly-kept secret, and many strategists and observers expect him to enter the race after appointing a temporary successor.

Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 1:51pm