Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is not waiting around to see what FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has up his sleeve before going public against it. In fact, he’s rounded up a 24-member bipartisan posse of senators, including four Republicans and one independent, informing Martin that if he goes ahead with his plan to remove cross-ownership restrictions in the top 20 markets, they will "immediately move legislation that will revoke and nullify the proposed rule. We are notifying you and others of this proposed action in order to make certain you understand the consequences of ignoring the need for and the right of the American people to play a constructive role in attempts by a federal agency to change rules that have substantial impact on the American people. In light of this, we request and expect that you will postpone the action scheduled for December 18, 2007."
The letter cites lack of proper window for citizens to read, understand and comment on the proposed rule change, only 28 days from the proposed rule’s unveiling on 11/13/07 until 12/11/07.
Martin has said that to the contrary, the public has been given ample time to discuss the issue of cross-ownership, and that his decision to release the proposal in advance was an extraordinary and unnecessary act done in deference to the many requests the FCC has had to see the proposed changes prior to an open meeting vote.
Joining Dorgan in signing a letter to Martin stating their intentions are Commerce Committee Chair Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ranking Member Ted Stevens (R-AK); current presidential candidates Barack Obama (D-IL), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY); and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Trent Lott (R-MS), John Kerry (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Russ Feingold, (D-WI) Jon Tester (D-MT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Larry Craig (R-ID), Joe Biden (D-DE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL).