Light Squared advertises in The Hill on a page talking about Light Squared using tax payer money to stop an investigation into how Light Squared uses tax payer money.
Digging through the Organizing for America website will find some interesting nuggets. Not the least of which is this little gem:
And here is the code from the back end:
Here’s another question, this one for the media: Why has the media shown zero curiosity about Candidate Barack Obama’s illegal, overseas fundraising efforts? The election happened and there were questions right away and about Obama’s fundraising and even now, a year and a half later zero investigative reporting.
What are the chances the media will ask the administration about this? Probably near zero.
Here is the explosive tape from the NEA at Brietbart as well as a transcript in full. I’m listening now.
As Patrick Courrelieche, an L.A.-based arts organizer who participated in the call, reported at Big Hollywood, the people running the call, including the NEA’s director of communications Yosi Sergant and members of the White House Office of Public Engagement and United We Serve, told the assembled crew of “thought leaders” that “we’re going to come at you with some specific asks here” (that’s a direct quote from Buffy Wicks of the Office of Public Engagement).
Chief among the requests from Sergant (who was either “reassigned” from the agency or “reportedly resigned” after denying the full extent of his role in organizing the call) was “to pick something whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know… [and] apply artistic, you know, your artistic creative communities’ utilities and bring them to the table.” Beyond the specific policy issues above, the call organizers stressed the ideologically loaded concept of “service” as the animating principle of the Obama administration and wanted the artists to do whatever they could to promote that. As Wicks put it, “We really view [our efforts] as an onramp to a lifetime of service. We really want service to be incorporated into people’s daily lives.”
Given that the NEA prides itself on being the single largest funding source for the arts in the country, such arm-twisting by agency officials, however masked in fulsome compliments to creators’ genius, is disturbing on its face. It clearly sets a political agenda for the very people who are likely to be applying for, well, NEA and other government grants. Does anyone think that the organizers were fishing around for projects that might complicate the public option for health care?
The National Endowment for the Arts has always been looked upon with skepticism by many a taxpayer. Taxpayer money has been used to fund such notable pieces of artwork such as the cross in urine jar, etc.
But this affront goes one further. Artists are asked directly to create to support the Obama administration’s agenda ends. By definition, artists should be “independent”, right? But the government is asking artists to play along with a certain perspective.
There are problems for both the taxpayer and the artist. What would happen, for example, if an artist didn’t support the president? What if an artist created art that harmed the President’s objectives? Would funding be pulled? Consider some of the things said in the preamble to the call:
“the role that we played in the campaign”
“the president has a clear ‘arts agenda'”
“all on this phone call were selected for a reason”
So artists might feel honored because they like this president, but when or if their opinion changed, this call could be construed as coercion. It IS coercion.
Now, the American taxpayer has an entirely different concern: The Obama administration is using an arm of the government to pay artists with taxpayer money to create, essentially propaganda. Art will be used to promote the taxpayer’s dime to promote a specific Obama policy.
“Valerie Jarrett is one of our fantastic leaders”
“Bolster civic engagement with this effort”
“We want to connect with labor unions, womens groups”
“It’s going to take all of us working together–progressive groups”–this is the United We Serve, a government program director talking–the Corporation for National Service.
This, obviously, is a problem all the way around.
The government is asking artists to focus on these policies: health care, energy and environment (parks), education (Department of Education), and community renewal.
Listen to the whole thing. It’s an abomination. And listen with this thought in mind: Imagine if President Bush’s surrogates engineered a similar phone call. Yeah. There’d be outrage.
Perhaps Andrew Breitbart and friends shouldn’t be surprised when they find the White House staffers making “specific asks” of allegedly independent artists on a conference call organized by the allegedly nonpartisan National Endowment of the Arts. Obama’s appointee to head the endowment, Rocco Landesman, said about 20 days after that conference call, “If the president had wanted a timid NEA, he would have made a different choice.”
No timid NEA. Oh no. The NEA is the new Obama propaganda funder. Thank you, American taxpayer.
Dan Riehl and the connection between ACORN, NEA, faith based initiatives and Obama.
Is President Obama using official government channels to push his policy agenda? From the NEA wiki (which will be updated continuously):
But, there is even a larger issue that hasn’t yet received much attention in the press. Among the Obama Administration officials on the call were Buffy Wicks, Office of Public Engagement and the lead White House official on the President’s Serve.Gov initiative to promote national service. Also on the call was Nell Abernathy, Director of Outreach for Serve.Gov. One of their main goals on the call, it seems, was to encourage artists to produce works that would reinforce the President’s call for service; specifically through the Serve.Gov web-portal.
As Dana Loesch recently reported at Big Government, the Serve.Gov portal funnels citizens to volunteer or service projects connected with ACORN and other leftist groups. The taxpayer-funded website is evolving into a cyber-recruitment tool for the progressive movement.
So what did happen on that call? Was the NEA coordinating with the White House to push their agenda on a group of artists eager for and reliant upon the NEA for grants, or is the NEA telling the truth that this call “was not a means to promote any legislative agenda”?
Michelle Malkin adds this:
And the Washington Times — which reported earlier this month that “…16 of the groups and affiliated organizations received nearly $2 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in the 150 days before the conference call” — today reveals a partial list of “artists and influencers” on the NEA’s August conference call. One of the participants? Al Gore’s Current TV.
As Michelle notes, the Time’s is crowd-sourcing efforts to get to the bottom of this story. Follow THIS LINK to go to an excel spreadsheet about various individuals and affiliations. The American people need to know the full truth and the American people can get to the truth with some work themselves.