Amendment One Gauges Senate Media Reform Stances

Don Schellhardt’s June installment of Amendment One summarizes the latest action on various legislative efforts to reform or repeal the FCC’s decision earlier this month to relax media ownership rules. It includes an excellent supplement that details each individual Senator’s position on the issue.
June has been a busy month for media reform forces in Washington, D.C. Don’s handling the beat for us, but another excellent news source for congressional news is the Free Press Media Reform Network’s Washington Watch, as they have people working Capitol Hill.
One detail nobody’s making noise about: Arizona Senator John McCain’s own quasi-FCC reform bill, the “FCC Reauthorization Act of 2003,” would strengthen the power of the Enforcement Bureau by increasing the size of the fines it can issue tenfold.
As a general guide in enforcement cases, the FCC starts with a base fine of $10,000 and works its way up or down from there, depending on the circumstances of each case. That’s one of the reasons why so many unlicensed broadcasters are socked for $11,000 – think of it as $10,000 for breaking the rules with a grand extra for being a pirate. Imagine if the benchmark was multiplied by ten…