Conservatives launch PAC against media rules

California Republican Party Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro of Lafayette today is helping to launch a new PAC, the “First Amendment Now Campaign,” to combat what he says are Democratic efforts to curtail conservative political speech.

The main issue is the Fairness Doctrine, a Federal Communications Commission policy dating from 1949 but abolished in 1987 that required broadcast license holders to present controversial issues of public importance in a way the FCC considered honest, equitable and balanced.

Although President Barack Obama repeatedly has said he opposes reinstating it – see here and here – and the U.S. Senate last month overwhelmingly approved an amendment nixing it, conservatives have continued to rally against it, leading some critics – see here, here and here – to wonder whether it’s an intentional effort to dangle some red meat as a distraction from other issues.

Still, Del Beccaro, California Political News and Views publisher Steve Frank and state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, along with a bunch of conservative talk radio personalities, are launching this new organization, asking for donations of $17.76 “to preserve our freedom.”

Besides the Fairness Doctrine, they say, they’re concerned about President Obama’s calls for “localism,” or requiring broadcast license holders to dedicate some of their airtime to the interests of their local community – obviously a concern for a conservative station such as KSFO-AM/560 that’s located in an overwhelmingly liberal place such as San Francisco.

And they’re also worried about President Obama’s calls for broadcast media ownership diversity, dating back to 2007 and echoed now in Congress. The President and supporters claim they’re concerned about a lack of female and minority ownership in the broadcast media, but opponents claim it’s just another back-door way to undercut conservative free speech.

So expect to hear a lot about this all across your AM radio dial as this new organization holds a kickoff rally next Tuesday, March 24 on the State Capitol’s north steps, and then as it moves forward with an effort to gather a million petition signatures it can present to U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. The PAC promises to use its money “to preserve the First Amendment; to oppose the Fairness Doctrine, government-imposed diversity and localism; and to oppose candidates that favor the Fairness Doctrine.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Marilyn Robinson

    Thanks to all of you to initiate this. The world is so upside down now, people act like there is nothing we can do about what is happening, so this helps me feel empowered.

    Keep up the good work.

  • If we lose the right to free speech we lose everything. There is nothing more fundamental to a free people than the right to speak one’s mind. It’s what hundreds of thousands of Americans have died for since the inception of the country. We MUST stop these insecure thieves from the Democrat party. They’re like animals lashing out because they are frightened to death that they won’t be able to hold on to their power. They don’t have the country at heart. It’s their individual elitist positions they are attempting to protect. The Left as well as the Right must have the right to free speech. It’s shameful that we all aren’t willing to go to the mat to preserve it.

  • Thank you for starting this. We will be right there with you. We do not want our rights taken away and the left knows that this is the only way to silence the conservative base. Keep up the good work. God Bless, Carmine jensen

  • John

    Hey gang, it’s not the “FREE SPEECH” that concerns them, it’s the ‘COSTLY SPEECH’ intelligently contradicting their misguided policy proposals and strategy agendas that concern them (e.g., Illegal alien ‘amnesty’ (gratitude) expansion of Demo voting base in pursuit of a one party monopoly; Acorn contract with Demo gov. to (in effect) manipulate 2010 census results and future election outcomes overhwelmingly favoring Democrats, etc., etc. etc. etc!).

    Taking shots at the LAST president was considered a national sport, while taking shots at the current (black) president (“Lincoln &/or FDR incarnate”) is considered “obstructionist” – even “racist!” (It’s ANTI SOCIALIST for sure!)

    I guess having exclusive ownership of ‘political correctness’ and ‘white guilt’ leverage isn’t enough. Neither is it enough for them to have overwhelming influence over the major TV networks & print medias. NO, it won’t be enough until the stink of leftest Air American has choked off, or radically diminished, the only public venue for conservative expression.

    Here’s one pending consequence of the ongoing Demo “bail out” (social program expansion agenda) policy they don’t want broadcast on the ‘COSTLY (free) SPEECH’ circuit (Watch & listen, then Cut & Paste AND Pass & Post it around!). It’s entertainingly SAD but TRUE.


  • Julia

    The Liberals are the most pathetic hypocrites the world around. I’m glad we have a Conservative radio at least to show the president as what he is. All I have been seeing in all these rushed bills are rights being taken away from the American people. Of large concern to me is H.R. 1388 and H.R. 875 in particular.

  • Lucy Brown


  • morris lebard

    It is so suprising to me that the rights of all americans are being destroyed right before our eyes, and including the narrow minded dems. How can even they gom along with these types of programs unless they are truly socialists, and if so they do not belong here, go where that form of government already exists. They seem to take advantage of people who truly care for individual rights as opposed to groups of people who react as gangs. I for one am fed up.