Taxpayer Funded Lobbying: NPR Hires Lobbyists


According to The Hill, NPR has hired lobbyists to represent both the public broadcasting organization and their member stations before Congress. “It is part of our mission to represent the interests of NPR member stations to Congress, executive, regulatory and judicial bodies,” said an NPR spokeswoman noting that the lobbyists were hired to “explain how the federal investment in public radio stations and larger public broadcasting system provides one of the most effective returns of any program authorized by Congress.”

NPR is claiming that no federal funds are being used for the lobbying efforts, which is good because the expenditure of federal funds for lobbying is illegal for a lot of excellent reasons, but does anyone really buy that?

Public broadcasting gets a lot of private-sector support, but money is fungible. NPR and public broadcasting in general is heavily subsidized by the taxpayers, and the lobbyists in question are in Washington to keep the federal funds flowing.

As a practical matter, we have a taxpayer funded organization lobbying for more tax dollars (or, at least, sustained tax dollars).

That doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Jay

    Ah, yes. NPR uses ourtax dollars to lobby to continue to receive our tax dollars. Ggggrrrr…

  • Kevin Flanagan

    NPR and PBS should hire sales departments and get off of the government teat.

  • awfulorv

    It cannot be denied that The success of panhandlers throughout the country is directly attributable to the skills they’ve developed while tuned into the University of Begging. In that respect it may well be the only government funded agency, initially, which can claim success. They are also suspected, by Conservatives, of being the only known college in the US offering a Major in ” talking over ones antagonist, leaving them no time for rebuttal, while appearing on Fox news “. And a Minor in “Sticking to the Democratic line, no matter the inanity of it”.

  • JustRuss

    Lobbyists are not cheap, when someone hires lobbyists it means the returns they expect from federal assistance (of some sort) far far outweight the cost to hire.

    Even leftists are in it for the profit, they just seek to profit off the government rather than the individual.

    • two_amber_lamps

      They just deny the part about profit because leftists outwardly espouse the belief that the profit motive is selfish and EVIL.

  • WOOF

    NO federal money goes to NPR lobbyists.
    The federal money goes to the firearms database
    Elmo and Big Bird solicit from Sesame Street viewers.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Government $$ to “public supported” leftist enterprise, government money used to pay lobbyists who obtain more government $$ for said leftist enterprise to spread leftist ideology on “public television.”

      The great government subsidized self-licking ice cream cone, just the way the left likes it!

      • WOOF

        Think oil companies get money from the gov’t ?

        • robert108

          The greedy govt takes a whole lot of money from oil companies in the form of various taxes. Govt should be grateful for our domestic oil industry.

  • LastBestHope

    NPR is defunded in 2013 and they know it.

  • Emil Kashuntz

    The problem with NPR is they spread the truth, that is why they must be stopped. Anyone who put out real information only interferes with Fox and Rush, so we all need to make up stories about the evil of informative radio. If the Hoopleheads get real information a few may defect.

    • Gern Blanston

      I’ll eagerly await your examples of untruths broadcast by Rush.

  • Emil Kashuntz

    Why should the government support real information for everyone when the money could be used for tax breaks for the rich?

    • Gern Blanston

      Because the information is one-sided. Not to metion the fact that government money being used to excersize first amendment rights designed for the free excersize of speech against governemnt is by definition a conflict of interest.

  • Emil Kashuntz

    If you are so worried about fungible money, how about Mitt’s tax returns?

    • Bat One

      All money is fungible. So are soybeans, crude oil, and cognitively dysfunctional liberals. Which has nothing to do with lobbyists, or Mr. Romney’s tax returns.

    • Gern Blanston

      how about Barry’s college transcripts?