Like comedy, democracy ain’t pretty. It’s been more than a year since the House passed the Local Community Radio Act, but the companion bill in the Senate seems to be jammed up in the sausage grinder.
Although the expansion of LPFM apparently enjoys broad bipartisan support, according to Politico Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso has put a hold on the bill “because he wants to ensure it includes language that distinguishes full-power FM stations from low-power FM stations.”
Let me be entirely honest and clear: I have no idea what it means to “distinguish full-power FM stations from low-power FM stations.” My best guess is that Barrasso wants to be sure that LPFM stations are treated as a secondary service, which means they have to give way if a full-power station wants to move or increase. However, this is already true, baked into the LPFM service from the very start. In which case I can only conclude that Barraso is looking for any excuse–no matter how lame–to keep the bill from a vote until the end of this Congressional session. This is the third hold the bill has been subjected to.
The Prometheus Radio Project is doing its best to unjam things, urging Wyoming residents to give their senator a call to politely urge him to let the Local Community Radio Act have a fair and democratic hearing on the Senate floor.
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