Sen. Baldwin's 'Go Pack Go Act' draws praise and criticism

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-21 16:27:18-04

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin was calling on Washington to pass her 'Go Pack Go Act' during a visit to Green Bay Friday. With Lambeau Field as a backdrop and surrounded by supporters sporting green and gold, Sen. Baldwin laid out her proposal.

She said federal broadcasting rules sometimes keep 400,000 Wisconsinites in 13 counties from watching Packers games on their TV screens. The majority of those people live in the Twin Cities and Duluth/Superior viewing areas, and they're forced to watch the Vikings on some Sundays.

Under Sen. Baldwin's 'Go Pack Go Act,' cable, satellite and other TV providers would be required to offer customers the chance to have Wisconsin broadcasts only. The cost would remain the same. Customers could also choose to have both Wisconsin and Minnesota broadcasts, but you'd be charged a higher fee.

Sen. Baldwin, who's campaigning for re-election, said a move like this is long overdue.

"This is something that we can change and help bring our state closer together. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are, in Wisconsin we are all Cheeseheads." 

The Packers voiced their support for the Act on Friday today. They released this statement:

“We frequently hear from Packers fans in the affected areas of the state who are disappointed they cannot always view games. Sen. Baldwin’s proposed legislation is very much appreciated. We’re hopeful it gains additional support and eventually is passed.”

Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir, the two major Republican U.S. Senate candidates competing to face Sen. Baldwin in the November election, were critical of the proposal. Nicholson tweeted, "It's another shameless ploy"...

Vukmir's statement read in part:

“Wisconsinites are too smart to fall for Sen. Baldwin’s phony political games.  This shows how desperate she is to win re-election,” Leah said. “Baldwin can’t stand on her actual record, so she hijacked Rep. Duffy’s bill to help northern Wisconsinites view Packers games. Where was Tammy Baldwin when Duffy introduced this bill?”

Rep. Sean Duffy's bill called the 'Go Pack Act of 2015' did not receive enough support in Congress.

In 2016, Senator Ron Johnson also launched an ad talking about a similar idea during his campaign.