Thursday, June 16, 2005

goings-on with the CPB

Two news stories about the Corporation for Public Broadcasting today.

The Chicago Tribune has picked up a Washington Post story that the House Appropriation's Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education has voted to cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's funding by 25% this year, and to eliminate all its funding within two years. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is the organization that handles PBS and public radio (one of my own sources for fairly in-depth background news). Rep. Ralph Regula (R), the subcommittee's chairman, assures us there is no political message intended. The ranking democrat on the subcommittee sees things rather differently. You can find the subcommittee's web page here. Here's the membership:

Ralph Regula, OH (R)
Earnest J Istook, Jr., OK (R)
Roger F. Wicker, MS (R)
Anne Northrup, KY (R)
Randy "Duke" Cunningham, CA (R)
Kay Granger, TX (R)
John E. Peterson, PA (R)
Don Sherwood, PA (R)
Dave Weldon, FL (R)
James Walsh, NY (R)
David R. Obey, WI (D)
Steny H. Hoyer, MD (D)
Nita M. Lowey, NY (D)
Rosa L. DeLauro, CT (D)
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., IL (D)
Patrick J. Kennedy, RI (D)
Lucille Roybal-Allard, CA (D)

I was hoping to put the individual members' votes up there as well, but I'm having trouble finding them. It would be interesting to see how much of a party-line vote it really was.

In the meantime, the New York Times is reporting that Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the republican chairman of the CPB, signed a $15,000 contract with two lobbyists, and $14K in other contracts -- without disclosing them to the board of directors. This is the same Tomlinson who has caused controversy by trying to further what he believes to be political balance in public broadcasting. One of the lobbyists "briefly served as a top aide to Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, but resigned after the disclosure that he had written a memorandum describing how to exploit politically the life-support case of Terri Schiavo." Sounds like a great guy.

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