"Team 4 has a voicemail recording of Democratic State Rep. Tim Solobay, of Canonsburg, saying that state lawmakers are preparing an all-out assault on the media. Solobay hints that the first volley is a bill that would start charging sales tax on all advertising in Pennsylvania.Things aren't exactly clear to me, but this story seems to involve action by the legislature to give itself a raise, even though the rules are that a given legislature cannot give itself a raise. Legislative raises are supposed to be passed by one legislature, and then implemented with the next legislature. Apparently the Pennsylvania legislature was trying some sneaky way of giving itself a raise and the news media made their sneaky actions public. In response, the suggestion here is that the legislature is planning to take revenge. Now, that seems like a legitimate use of legislative power, eh?
Solobay left the voicemail message for editor Cody Knotts, who works at The Weekly Recorder, in Claysville, Washington County.
In the message, Solobay says, 'But you know, for the most part, the majority of the legislative feeling about the media right now is if there's something they can do to screw them, you can imagine it may occur.'
'That got my blood boiling because the Legislature thinks they're invulnerable,' said Knotts.
Like many newspaper editors in Pennsylvania, Knotts wrote prolifically last year about the 16 percent pay raise that lawmakers took, and then gave back under heavy media pressure.
Then, last month, he learned of a bill in Harrisburg that would hit the media hard -- lifting the sales tax exemption on advertising, along with some other services."
Monday, January 16, 2006
Channel 4 News Pittsburg: