National Public Radio has spent $304,000 lobbying Congress so far in 2010 according to filings available with the Senate Clerk’s office. According to the filings, signed by Michael R. Riksen, vice president of policy and representation, the money was spent in part to lobby for appropriations. The organization has been spending money on lobbying at least since 1999, but they more than quintupled their usual lobbying spending in 2008, the same year the financial crisis hit.
Prior to 2008, NPR typically spent around $80,000 a year. In 2009, the organization spent $421,576, and in 2008, $436,535.
The disclosure forms show the involvement of the partially-publicly funded organization with the federal government. While only an estimated two percent of NPR’s budget comes from the federal government, revenue finds its way from other donors — like the liberal “philanthropist” George Soros, who announced in September a grant of $1.8 million for an “Impact of Government” initiative that will eventually “add editorial resources and reporters to NPR member stations in all 50 states.” And, of course, listeners like you.
NPR has come under fire because of its decision to terminate the contract of senior contributor Juan Williams for comments made during an episode of “The O’Reilly Factor,” during which Williams expressed concern over traditionally-dressed Muslims entering planes. But his remarks came as part of a larger point against bigotry.
NPR reported that Williams’ association with Fox News has long rankled the liberal radio network’s top brass. Williams told Fox he was fired over the phone.