Nassau comes to town

Dan Strassberg
Sun Apr 11 07:50:19 EDT 2004

How clear does Sid have to make it before you understand, Counselor? There
is a HUGE difference between the right to claim equal amounts of FREE time
on a station and the right to purchase an equal amount of PAID time at rate
no greater than the lowest rate the station has charged for such time during
the period of the election campaign. This is NOT a quibble! In one case, the
government is forcing the station to GIVE AWAY ITS PRODUCT. In the other,
the government is requiring the station to SELL its product to other
legitimate candidates at a price the station previously established. Now,
you can argue that the requirement to sell the time could force the station
to carry programming that would drive away the audience, but that's not the
same as confiscating the air time on behalf of the other candidates. And
BTW, since the airwaves are public property, I think a good case could be
made for the candidates' indeed having the right to confiscate the air time.

However, if you can't grasp the difference between confiscation and a forced
sale at a price established by the station, I wonder whether the Maine Board
of Bar Overseers shouldn't revoke your license to practice law. Or are you
just demonstrating the level of intelligence (or should I say incompetence?)
of so many in your profession?

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Billings <>
To: Sid Schweiger <>;
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 9:25 PM
Subject: Re: Nassau comes to town

> Sid: You are now quibbling.
> Your first post said this: "What you're probably referring to is the
> opportunity" law (47 USC 315(a)), which states that if you sell air time
> one candidate for an office, you have to sell air time to all other
> candidates for that same office."  Your post seemed to imply that that
> is the only requirement placed on broadcast stations and it is not.  The
> does not only apply to selling time, it applies to time given away and
> on non-news shows.
> To go back to the situation that started this discussion -- if a station
> running only Kerry speeches in October, the Bush campaign would have a
> under the law to complain.
> The law may not impose a strict equal time provision but I think the first
> thing a judge would look at is how much time was provided to each
> I don't think it would be considered equal opportunity to give one
> a minute and another an hour,
> -- Dan Billings, Bowdoinham, Maine

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