Campaign ad bill advances

The House Administration Committee has passed campaign reform legislation that requires broadcasters to sell advertising time to political candidates at the “lowest unit rate.”

Politicians could begin taking advantage of a broadcaster’s lowest unit ad rate 45 days before a general election and 30 days before a primary.

The bill, which was forwarded to the full House of Representatives, would provide for communications vouchers to candidates who agree to limit spending during a campaign. Broadcasters would be able to redeem the vouchers for cash at a bank or savings and loan.

National Assn. of Broadcasters prez Eddie Fritts called the House bill a “huge step forward” compared to much tougher Senate campaign finance legislation. “Virtually all of the most onerous provisions for broadcasters have been removed,” Fritts said.

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