New LPFM hope as Waxman replaces Dingell

Nov 30, 2008 5:31 am

Last week House of Representative Democrats voted 137-122 to replace John Dingell (D-MI 15th District) with Henry Waxman (D-CA 30th District, pictured at right) as the chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Dingell, the longest-serving member of the U.S. House, was considered by many progressive Democrats as standing in the way of key legislation, most notably auto industry reform. The Commerce Committee also oversees the telecommunications industry, and Dingell had stalled the Local Community Radio Act of 2007, which would have created thousands of new Low-Power FM stations around the country. Dingell was not one of the 99 co-sponsors in the House, and had kept the bill stuck in Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Maybe that's because Dingell regularly takes large contributions from LPFM's biggest enemy -- the National Association of Broadcasters. Waxman, on the other hand, did co-sponsor the LPFM bill, and back in 2000, was the main opposition to the limits on the first LPFM bill Congress passed, while Dingell believed the since-disproved fake CD of alleged LPFM interference the NAB produced. Waxman's appointment as chair doesn't guarantee anything, but his past record indicates he is an LPFM supporter.
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