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Sens. develop pol-ad initiative

Details have emerged on the effort of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ
Feingold (D-Wis.) to launch a new legislative attack intended to force
broadcasters to provide free airtime to politicians and to make broadcasters
pay for political advertisements.

The bill has two parts, said Paul Taylor, executive director of the Alliance
for Better Campaigns.

The first part would require radio and TV broadcasters to provide two hours
of candidate-centered programming each week in the month leading up to
elections, although how long that requirement would exist prior to elections
could change in the final bill, Taylor said.

The second would levy a spectrum fee on broadcasters that would be about 1
percent of their gross revenue.

The money would be used to give vouchers to politicians so they could buy ad
time on TV and radio stations at market rates.

The bill's introduction will be announced at an Alliance for Better Campaigns
press conference next week.