Congress and the flawed STELA Legislation

Efforts to overcome Congressional inaction

The illogic of STELA law and some lawyers

15 September 2021: As mentioned in last month's report, I sent an inquiry to a local law firm. I was somewhat surprised by the instructions they provided on their interview request form:

Please do not send us any information about your legal matter. Our professional obligations require that before accepting any new client or new matter, we must determine whether there are any actual or potential conflicts with any of our existing or former clients.

What a minute. Before they will accept the case they don't want to know anything about the case or who the case is against? How can they determine "whether there are any actual or potential conflicts"? Is that logical? Not to me. They have not accepted my interview request.

Of course, the STELA federal law is not logical either. How can anyone believe that Congress forcing citizens to view TV stations 120 miles away instead of stations only 30 miles away is logical.

I used to think that laws and lawyers were supposed to be "logical". Obviously, that is not always true.

If any readers know of attorneys with Constitutional Law expertise, please have them contact me.

16 September 2021: Utilizing the services of the National Association of Broadcasters "We are Broadcasters", I sent the following to our Arizona senators.

TO: Senators Sinema and Kelly,

Do you believe that it is illogical for the "Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act" (STELA) legislation and the FCC Designated Market Area (DMA) regulation to require southern Pinal County citizens to view only TV stations 120 miles away when the local TV stations are only 30 miles away? If you agree with the affected southern Pinal County citizens that STELA and the DMA requirements are illogical, please tell Congressman O'Halleran and the House Energy & Commerce Committee that urgent action is needed to correct STELA and stop putting lives of Pinal citizens at risk and stop harming businesses in Pima and Pinal counties. For rural Pinal County, the Internet is NOT a viable alternative to correcting the flaws in STELA and the DMA immediately.

On the other hand, if you think it is logical for this dangerous and unfair legislation and the FCC regulation to prohibit citizens of southern Pinal County from viewing local news, weather, sports, advertising, and emergency information, please tell me why. I've been working this issue since 2013 and no member of Congress has yet been able to explain why putting local lives at risk and harming local businesses is logical and necessary.

Mike Weasner
STELA Reform Advocate
Oracle, Arizona

29 September 2021: Per a request from the National Association of Broadcasters, I sent the following message to Arizona Senators Sinema and Kelly and Congressman O'Halleran.

Congress has placed the cart before the horse. Without meaningful and urgent change in the "Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act" (STELA) to allow citizens to view their nearest TV stations instead of stations four times further away (as is the case in southern Pinal County, Arizona, and many other locations in the United States), the Broadcast VOICES Act and the Local Journalism Sustainability Act will not fulfill the goals of these Acts. In fact, STELA not only puts local lives at risk, it harms the businesses and TV stations that these Acts are intended to support. Congress must immediately fix the flaws in STELA before proceeding with action on the Broadcast VOICES Act and the Local Journalism Sustainability Act.

Mike Weasner
STELA Reform Advocate
Oracle, Arizona

30 September 2021: I have received no response to my 16 September or 29 September messages to the Arizona members of Congress. Per my request to our Senators on 16 September, that should mean that they AGREE that the STELA legislation and FCC DMA is illogical, and that they told Congressman O'Halleran and the responsible House Committee to get it fixed now. Of course, the reality is that they (or their staffs) likely ignored the request as they do not live with the issue and are incapable of understanding its seriousness. Or maybe they just don't care that Congressional inaction continues to put local lives at risk and harm local businesses.

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

Main Flawed STELA Legislation page

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