Congress and the flawed STELA Legislation

Efforts to overcome Congressional inaction

Failure of our elected officials in Washington to comprehend a serious local issue

15 October 2021: On the previous blog report I mentioned that I had contacted Senators Sinema and Kelly and Congressman O'Halleran again about the flaws in the "Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act" (STELA) that prohibit citizens from viewing their nearest TV stations while forcing them to view TV stations four times further away. I received a response from Senator Sinema that began:

Thank you for contacting me about infrastructure investment. I always appreciate hearing from Arizonans about issues facing our state and country. It is important that we have conversations about topics that matter to you and your family, and I hope you will continue to reach out to me and share your perspectives and suggestions.

America's roads, bridges, water systems, broadband, airports, and energy systems are all examples of our nation's infrastructure.

Her response then goes on about the "proposed the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan (AJP)". This is just another example that highlights just how out-of-touch our elected representatives in Washington, DC, are. Either that or they never bother to actually read inputs from their constituents. The dangerous and unfair STELA legislation has absolutely nothing to do with Infrastructure or the Jobs Plan. Why they or their staffs believe that it does is beyond comprehension. No wonder American citizens wonder about the competency of those in Washington.

I have raised this serious issue with our elected officials continuously since 2013. They cannot claim ignorance of the facts. In fact, Congressman O'Halleran admitted that the legislation was wrong when he visited Oracle, Arizona, in May 2018. Yet, he continues to fail in his responsibility to protect local citizens and businesses, and work with his colleagues in Congress and get STELA fixed.

The battle for the TV screens of local citizens continues. I welcome the support of local citizens and businesses in this critical effort.

31 October 2021: I received a response from Congressman O'Halleran on 26 October. His response is just another non-responsive admission that he (or his staff) do not actually read inputs from his constituents or there is a serious lack of understanding about the STELA issue in his Congressional District. His response begins with this:

Many Arizonans live in rural areas and rely on public broadcasting via radio or television signals for important local programming on community events, to receive emergency notifications, or to access various types of educational resources.

He then goes on about funding, stating in part:

I support funding for public broadcasting through entities such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which Congress originally created to promote access to public broadcasting in communities nationwide. These vital resources are a part of the community fabric in rural areas so Congress must ensure public broadcasting has the funding support to continue providing these critical services.

Funding public broadcasting is good, but those Arizonans in rural areas that he says rely on receiving TV signals are actually the same citizens that are prohibited from viewing those signals in many locations thanks to the flawed STELA legislation that he and other members of Congress refuse to correct. Does the word "hypocrites" apply to members of Congress?

How do members of Congress get away with such a mixed message to their constituents?

Arizona State Legislature support

Main Flawed STELA Legislation page

Copyright ©2021 Michael L. Weasner /