Friday, September 22, 2006

PBS in the Hizzie on Howie!

When commercial TV fails--and it almost always does when it comes to election season--thank God for public television. PBS' David Brancaccio will devote an entire episode of NOW to ballot initiatives and Howard Rich, the astroturf king behind them. It's unclear how much he will talk specifically about Oregon's TABOR measure, but depending on when the episode was written some of the states discussed (such as Montana and Oklahoma) no longer have bills to worry about. (I rather envy the states that don't have to brook fraudulent, out of state paid signature collection. I simply don't get the construct that an initiative presented with irregularities can still be considered legitimate, but that's Oregon law for you.) But even if they don't mention Oregon once, to have an entire hour devoted to exposing Rich's distributed fiscal pogrom is a rare opportunity for politics on television to actually have some meaning.

A step removed from PBS but even more in the true public interest is community access TV. If you're a sad and demented person like me, and think the Oregon Center for Public Policy's Chuck Sheketoff is like a rock star, you're in luck. Last Friday Sheketoff and Oregon Business Assocation President Lynn Lundquist debated Measure 48 chief petitioner Don McIntire and Measure 48 campaign spokesperson Matt Evans before a packed crowd at the Salem City Club, and the CCTV access network will run it a bunch of times over the next week:
  • Thursday, September 21 at 4:30 pm
  • Friday, September 22 at 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, September 23 at 1:00 pm
  • Wednesday, September 27 at 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, September 28, at 4:30 pm
  • Friday, September 29 at 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, September 30 at 1:00 pm
Check your local program guide to see if CCTV's available in your area. TV that's good for you! Imagine that!

Lastly, OPB will have its own contribution to election news by doing an hourlong Oregon Territory profile on Measure 43, the parental notification bill. The inimitable Kristian Foden-Vencil will report, and the two campaign managers for the Yes-on and No-on camps will debate. If you miss the 4:30pm broadcast today, it'll be streamable afterwards.