In reaction to the controversy of National Public Radio’s dismissal of Juan Williams for his comments on Fox News, many prominent politicians have alleged that NPR lacks objectivity and should no longer receive federal money.
Taking it one step further, an article in the Washington Examiner points out that NPR uses its public money and donations to lobby Congress for further appropriations and that its lobbying spending rose sharply during the beginning of the Great Recession.
A variety of taxpayer-funded organizations and institutions have federal lobbyists or are clients of lobbying firms. Examples include:
- The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District paid its lobbying firm $80,000 over the past four quarters.
- Everybody’s favorite mass transit adventure, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has paid lobbyists $180,000 over the last year.
- The University of Michigan reported lobbying expenses of nearly $500,000 over the last four quarters. Way to go Blue! That’s more than double what Ohio State spent. If only you played football as well as you lobbied!
Finally, most federal agencies have congressional affairs departments to help steer the executive branch’s agenda through Congress. And since federal employees are already part of the government, they do not have to report their interactions with members of Congress as private lobbyists would.
Tags: Juan Williams, Lobbying, NPR, public funds to lobby Congress