September 24, 2003
Dear Coalition Friends:
Excellent news. In a 92 to 4 vote the Senate has backed Senator Jeff Bingaman's (D-NM) measure -- inspired by his disgust over the NFL Extravaganza on the Mall -- requiring that all permits for special events on the Mall specifically ban the use of structures and signs bearing commercial ads.
The amendment is contained in the Interior spending bill HR2691.
Thank you, Senator Bingaman!
Here are excerpts from The Washington Post coverage of the story:
Measure Would Limit Ads on the Mall
A measure that would limit displays of commercial sponsorship on the Mall passed the Senate overwhelmingly yesterday, a direct result of the Pepsi-sponsored celebration three weeks ago that marked the beginning of the National Football League season and sparked debate about appropriate uses of one of the nation's most symbolically rich stretches of land. The legislation was proposed as an amendment to the Senate's appropriations bill for the Interior Department; it passed 92 to 4. The amendment would ensure that corporate advertising for sponsored events on the Mall be no larger than one-third of the size of signs announcing the event...
...Though Park Service guidelines discourage commercial displays on the Mall, amendment sponsor Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) said the event highlighted the need to strengthen the guidelines by giving them the weight of law. "It persuaded me that there is a real disconnect between what the Park Service and Interior Department is saying about not wanting commercial activities on the Mall and what they actually permit,"said Bingaman, who chairs the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "I thought I would try to get something in the law that more specifically states the policies of the government."
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
For the entire article, see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55761-2003Sep24.html
And there was an Associated Press Wire story in The New York Times, excerpted below:
September 23, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Abe Lincoln's view down the National Mall should not include pop singer Britney Spears gyrating at a Pepsi-sponsored concert, senators said Tuesday in voting to restrict commercial events on the Mall.
...Bingaman said the Interior Department and the National Park Service violated their own rules on the commercial use of the Mall in approving a music and football festival earlier this month, sponsored by Pepsi and the National Football League, to celebrate the opening of the NFL season...
...Bingaman's amendment to an Interior Department spending bill gives the Interior secretary the authority to recognize sponsors of special events, but states that any sign design naming the sponsor be no larger than one-third the size of the design identifying the special event.
It also says that, to the maximum extent practicable, public access to the Mall should not be restricted. Bingaman said large areas of the Mall were off-limits to the public during preparations for the NFL event.
The House version of the Interior spending bill, passed in July, contains no such language. House-Senate negotiators will have to decide whether the final bill will include the Mall amendment.
For the entire piece, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Selling-The-Mall.html
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