NEWS BLOG (WSAU) If you’ve been following the music performance tax debate, there are new developments over the last few days.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time spoke in favor of taxing local radio stations for the music they play. Her comments were disorganized, and were clearly off-the-cuff. It came at the end of a long, rambling answer to a question about health care reform and other issues that may come up before Congress adjourns.
Here is what she said: “We are sending a message that ideas, music, and imagination are as valuable as any material invention… Artists deserve to be compensated for their work and rewarded for their contributions to our economy and our culture."
It is not surprising that Speaker Pelosi is a supporter of the music tax. Many of the recording studios have offices and studios in California, her home state. The issue is how much arm-twisting she will do among fellow democrats. There are 259 house members, a majority, who’ve signed a non-binding resolution in support of local radio. But the Speaker of the House has tremendous power on Capital Hill, and has many tools to sway votes to her side.
Wausau congressman David Obey publicly says he’s undecided on the issue. Senator Russ Feingold, who was a supporter of the music tax, in recent weeks has shown some signs of reconsidering his position.
There is an on-line petition where you can show your continued support for local radio stations. If you care about this issue, please take a moment to add your name to the list: http://www.noperformancetax.org/Take%20Action/Online%20Petition
We also have extensive background information on this important issue available here: http://tinyurl.com/ydlfcym
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau