Politics

Tom Leppert Among Republicans Urging Congress to Withdraw NPR's Funding

A couple hours after U.S. Senate candidate Tom Leppert tweeted what you see above, we contacted Leppert spokesman Shawn McCoy to find out why the former mayor supports eliminating public funding for National Public Radio. He said he'd talk to him and get back to us. We never heard back.

This morning, we asked McCoy for a statement, and again he said he'd get back to us. We've heard nothing yet. Two weeks ago, Ex-Mayor Tom caught fire for his anti-gay tweet about the Defense of Marriage Act and hasn't elaborated on that one either.

While Leppert's precise reasons for his stance are unknown, his tweet linked to yesterday's big story from The Daily Caller, which outlined the latest video by James O'Keefe. O'Keefe, the conservative activist and filmmaker responsible for the footage that killed ACORN, orchestrated a meeting between Ronald Schiller, NPR's senior vice president for development, and two people claiming to be members of a fictitious Muslim Brotherhood group who wanted to donate $5 million to NPR.

The video shows Schiller praising liberals, ripping conservatives and calling Tea Party members "seriously racist." As a result, Schiller resigned last night, and NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (not related to Ronald) quit this morning. Meanwhile, Jack Shafer of Slate downplayed the situation.

The U.S. House last month approved legislation that would eliminate federal funding for NPR beginning in 2013. The video has only strengthened the resolve of Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who issued a statement following the video's release.

As we continue to identify ways to cut spending and save valuable resources, this disturbing video makes clear that taxpayer dollars should no longer be appropriated to NPR. Not only have top public broadcasting executives finally admitted that they do not need taxpayer dollars to survive, it is also clear that without federal funds, public broadcasting stations self-admittedly would become eligible for more private dollars on top of the multi-million dollar donations these organizations already receive.

At a time when our government borrows 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, we must find ways to cut spending and live within our means. This video clearly highlights the fact that public broadcasting doesn't need taxpayer funding to thrive, and I hope that admission will lead to a bipartisan consensus to end these unnecessary federal subsidies.

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten

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