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McCain pushes free time

Campaign-finance reformer Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is still trying to force
broadcasters to provide free airtime to candidates.

McCain will unveil his newest reform bill at a June 19 press conference in
Washington, D.C., hosted by the Alliance for Better Campaigns.

His new bill will attempt to revive the free-airtime provisions deep-sixed
when the Torricelli amendment -- named for its backer, Sen. Robert Torricelli
(D-N.J.) -- was stripped from his original bill.

In what would be a double hit for broadcasters, McCain's bill would also levy
a spectrum fee on them to 'finance' the plan.

Meanwhile, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, as passed -- which contains
restrictions on certain types of broadcast campaign ads -- has been challenged
on First Amendment grounds by a number of groups, including the American Civil
Liberties Union.