Tuesday, May 30, 2006


A Lobby Group's Secret Weapon

Lobby Groups should take note. American politicians are vulnerable to a guy in a cardigan sweater who is everyone’s neighbour.

In 1969 the US Senate had a hearing on funding the newly developed Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The proposed endowment was $20 million, but President Nixon wanted it cut in half because of the spending going on in the Vietnam War. Senator Pastore starts out very abrasive and by the time the late Mr. Rogers is done talking, Senator Pastore’s inner child has heard Mr. Rogers and agreed with him.

Watch Mister Rogers appear before the United States Senate Committee to plead for money for public broadcasters. He is really convincing and the Chair is ready to write a $20 million cheque. In 1969, that was some serious money for PBS. It is almost $107 million in inflation adjusted dollars.

FYI - Ground has been broken on the Fred Rogers Center.

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