US Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), a member in good standing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is not going to seek reelection this year. Although generally in line with other Democrats in communications matters, he was notably at odds with his party during the rancorous health care debate, until the 11th hour.
Numerous reports suggest that his difficult role in the middle of the debate has led him to seek a more peaceful existence away from Capitol Hill.
Stupak is also a member of the key Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, and is Chair of E&C’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. In the latter capacity, he conducted a study of operations at the FCC back when Kevin Martin was Chairman. He also introduced legislation, currently pending, which would allow FCC commissioners to meet in private with one another.
Stupak is one of the 260 members who have co-sponsored the Local Radio Freedom Act, a measure which stands in direct opposition to the Performance Rights Act.
RBR-TVBR observation: Stupak’s turf is much of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is said to lean conservative and could be ripe territory for a Republican pick-up. (It went for Obama by a small margin after supporting Bush twice.) Broadcasters will be hoping to at least replace him with another supporter of the Local Radio Freedom Act.