Senators reactions to your emails send through or your calls


Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2005
Twin Cities, MN
Since this issue is kinda important to all of us (as we all want to see as many channels as possible) and the elections are coming up, it might be interesting to post the responses we get from our senators/elected officials from all over the states.

Eventhough I don't have any distant channels (I live in a major metro area) through either Dish or DTV, I still send an email to each of my senators and candidates for the senate and I have received a response from Senator Norm Coleman from MN. He's not up for re-election, but is the first one to respond. It took less than 2 hours to get a response from him.

Maybe, if you are undecided about who to vote for, these responses might change your mind.

Here's the response:

Dear Mr. Wetzels :

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006 (H.R. 5252). As a former mayor, I understand the concerns regarding legislation that would affect local franchising authority.

Given the significant technological and market developments of the past several years, Congress is considering various changes to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. As a member of the Republican Senate High Tech Task Force, I am focused on removing barriers to innovation and competition by updating our telecommunications laws for the 21 st century.

As you may know , the COPE Act was passed by the House on June 8, 2006. This legislation would allow new entrants wishing to offer video service to receive a national franchise authorization from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), while still allowing the option of negotiating with a local franchising authority (LFA). From my reading of the bill, this legislation would allow a LFA to manage its rights-of-way and be compensated for such management, as well as collect an annual franchise fee of up to five percent of the national franchisee's gross revenues. It also allows LFAs to require public, educational and government channels and collect one percent of gross revenues to support such channels. Furthermore, virtually all existing video regulations - including the must-carry provision - would continue to apply to national franchisees.

During the week of May 1, Senator Stevens (R-AK), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, issued draft legislation that would reform the current franchising process while still keeping ultimate authority with the LFA. There were two hearings in May on this legislation, and will be a final business meeting to consider this legislation in June.

I will continue to follow this important issue. I value your advice and will take it into consideration should legislation come before the full Senate for a vote.

I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you in the future.

Norm Coleman
United States Senate

I hope you all post the responses you get, so we can all maybe get an idea about what they are up to in Washington regarding this issue.
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Thank you for contacting me regarding distant network channels and satellite television. It is good to hear from you.

The Satellite Home Viewer Act (SHVA) contains rules that satellite television carriers must follow when transmitting television signals to a particular market from stations outside of that market. As you may know, Dish Network has been involved in litigation with many broadcasters regarding whether Dish Network violated the provisions of the SHVA relating to the transmission of distant signals.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida found that Echostar did violate the SHVA and on October 20, 2006, the court issued an injunction that requires Echostar to stop transmitting distant signals from NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. This injunction is scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2006. Dish Network is in the process of appealing this ruling. Rest assured that I will keep your views in mind as Congress monitors this issue.

I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. I feel it is important to keep an open line of communication so I can best serve the interests of the 6th District. I hope you will continue to be in touch as the 109th Congress debates issues of importance to the United States.

Again, thanks for the benefit of your comments. Please feel free to contact me whenever I may be of assistance.


Bob Goodlatte
Member of Congress

Yep, call them and tell them not to interfere with the judicial process. Legislators are there to create law, and the courts are there to interpret law, and the executive branch is there to carry out the law through administrative agencies. Now, if you don't agree with the law and wish to see it changed, then by all means tell your legislators and they will address this issue when the 110th Congress is in session next year, after the election.

Of course, don't forget to tell your legislators that you are in support of a company that willfully, and repeated violates satellite communications law. If you feel that your rights to your legally entitled DNS has been violated by Dish Network, then your recourse is simple. Just place a toll-free call into 1-888-777-2454 and your DNS problems will quickly be solved.

Again, I feel for all those who are being inconvenienced by the actions of Dish Network, but it's time to look elsewhere for service if DNS is that important. For those who have been illegally obtaining DNS through network are equally culpable, and deserve a big shame on you; you were the silent facilitators and share the blame for this situation. If you don't like the current laws as they are written...well, good luck taking on the are going to need really deep pockets and a whole lot of inside influence inside the FCC and Congre$$. Hey, perhaps your buddy Charlie Ergen will contribute half a billion or so to help get the ball rolling. :rolleyes:
I actually love the fact that they are shutting people off now before the election. That should wake some folks up.

Should be a fun lame duck session.

Tommorow Call (202) 224-3121.

If you really want TV Choice then you really want to call about this. :)
Yes just click on the username of that member select View Public Profile, When the Public Profile for that user comes up click on the option to add that member to your ignore list.
This was from Bill Nelson in Florida, I removed my name and the usual info they put at the bottom :)

Thank you for contacting me regarding distant television signals transmitted by direct broadcast satellite services. I appreciate your sharing these concerns with me.

Although a Federal judge recently ruled to stop EchoStar, which operates DISH Network, from transmitting distant signals in faraway markets, the legal dispute is still ongoing. Hopefully, EchoStar and the broadcast networks will reach a settlement that is in the consumers' best interest, and the government won't have to step in.

I'm going to send an additional response like so:

Dear Mr. Nelson,

First of all I would like to commend you on the last correspondence I received from you. I've received many responses and seen quite a few others from various senators and congressmen which have been off topic or unrelated, it's good to know that you and your people understand the issue we're facing.

Now back onto the topic at hand. What ever laws the judge is attempting to follow is obviously flawed. Some how the rights of the people (aka the consumer) were trampled upon, allowing the TV stations the ability to not block who can see their station, but to block the ability for us to see other stations, all so they wouldn't lose any possible revenue. I believe this is a free country and our viewing habits should be just as free. If people wanted to view their locals they could simply install an antenna to pickup these free signals that are regulated by the government. I believe this is where government intervention should end and business should be allowed to flourish. The fact is people are paying extra to receive stations they can't get by any other means. That's key to capitalism and part of what made this country what it is.

What's worse is this issue is specific to the United States which makes this so much more frustrating that we can tout how free we are, but when it comes to watching TV our neighbors in Canada and our friends in Europe actually have more freedom in watching what they want when they want then we do. Personally I find it a great injustice whenever we're stripped of our right to choose.

I really hope you take a stand, not just for the voters in your area, but for all Americans who are or will in the future face this issue.
I'm going to send an additional response like so:

In addition I would add that Dish Network reached a settlement with all the broadcasters and TV stations EXCEPT for 25 Fox stations owned by News Corp, who also owns DirecTV. The broadcasters (except FOX) wants dish to offer Distant networks.

Thats an important fact.
My reps wrote me back a generic letter saying how important television and communication legistlation was and they would be sure to work on it...
No vote for Leahy, Jeffords or Sanders from us

I sent 2 each to each of the 3 vt congressmen. One was the generic e-mail and the other one of my own. Nothing back from anyone yet. I'm going to take Scott's suggestion and call.

Vt was included in Charlie's list of "sufferers", so I expect my ny distants to be gone any time now. I have the Vt LiLs and most of them are unwatchable. The Burlington stations all went digital during the last few weeks but most of us in the Vt / NH connecticut river valley can not get any of those stations.
November 2, 2006 (Edited Address) Dear Don: This short note is to let you know that I received your message, and that I appreciate knowing about your concerns. As always, I am grateful to you for taking the time to make me aware of matters that are of particular importance to you. I assure you that I will keep your comments in mind. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please continue to keep me apprised of your concerns. Sincerely, Pete V. Domenici United States Senator PVD: LC Get the latest information about current issues affecting New Mexico along with an update on activities in the United States Senate by subscribing to my monthly electronic newsletter - The Domenici Report.
As Scott keeps repeating, don't e-mail them, call. It's far too easy for them to copy and paste their pre-written responses to you.

By the way riffjim, it's nice to see someone who understands how "the system" works. I have to agree with most of what you said. I don't think it's right that valid customers will be punished for this, but they have to because Dish broke (ignored) the rules.
Well I wouldn't vote for that person because they obviously didn't even read your e-mail

I got a response back from Senator Allard telling me that he would send a formal response by email or US Mail, but its possible that the response would not answer my question. :confused:

THe man should go back to being a large animal vet. Cuz as a Senator, he doesn't cut it. :mad:

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