Now that campaign-finance reform has passed Congress without any
discount-ad-rate provisions for broadcasters, the Alliance for Better Campaigns
is launching the Free Air Time Coalition to push for free broadcast time for
politicians running for office.
'Our long-term goal is legislation, but our immediate task is education,'
Alliance president Paul Taylor said. 'Most Americans don't realize they own the
airwaves. Once they learn, we believe public support for free-airtime
legislation, already strong, will grow even stronger.'
Taylor is a former Washington Post political reporter who has been
lobbying for free political airtime since 1996.
His new coalition is comprised of 30 national groups, including the AARP, the
AFL-CIO, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People and the Consumers Union.
It is chaired by former Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) and former New Jersey Gov.
'With the passage of a soft-money bill, this is the right time to press
forward to the next stage of the struggle,' Taylor said.