Dorgan and Dodd to Exit Senate

WASHINGTON: Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) announced today they would not seek re-election to their seats in the Senate. Both would have been up for re-election this fall.

Dorgan, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, has been a vociferous opponent of media consolidation and a supporter of network neutrality. He co-sponsored legislation in 2007 that would have required at least 90 days for public comment on any change to media ownership rules proposed by the FCC.

‘We believe localism and diversity of media ownership is vital in a democracy,” he said in announcing the legislation. “Our bill recognizes the importance of a wide range of media owners and local content, and requires a process that does not rush past those concerns to open the gates for even more consolidation of media ownership. We believe there is value to local ownership in the media.”

He led a subsequent resolution of disapproval against the FCC’s decision to relax cross-ownership prohibition among newspapers and TV stations.

Dodd supported the protection of journalists in 2007 as co-sponsor of the Free Flow of Information Act, a federal law shielding reporters and their confidential sources.