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Yosi Sergant out at National Endowment for the Arts.

Payola questions remain.

More or less. Sergant, for those who were wondering, was the NEA communications director who had been involved in a conference call last month that – depending on who you asked – was either a perfectly innocent conversation with various artists, or a recruitment drive for commissioned artwork in the Obamaist Realist style.  This is being scored as another win for Glenn Beck, although I’m not sure but that Big Hollywood should get the goal, and Beck the assist: at any rate, Sergant has since been reassigned.
(H/T: Amanda Carpenter)

My response to this would have probably been a snarky offer to let Sergant keep his old job and fund the artists – provided that they agreed to limit their artistic medium to black velvet paintings – except that there may have been a quid pro quo involving the Obamacare bill.

On August 12, a group of 21 arts organizations endorsed President Barack Obama’s health reform plan only 48 hours after a conference call in which a top National Endowment for the Arts official asked arts groups for help in advancing the administration’s policy agenda, including health care.

One reason the arts organizations may have been so swift to follow the administration’s suggestion is 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. According to a Washington Times analysis of NEA records, more than $1 million of that total came from the stimulus package. (see timeline)

Yes. That sort of makes this no longer funny.  The NEA’s regular 2009 budget is ‘only’ $155 million; that kind of money is going to thus loom fairly large in the eyes of groups that rely on the agency’s funding.  Enough to make them ‘understand’ that they need to be on-board with the health care rationing bill?  Well, that’s an interesting question, which a variety of people look forward to having other people answer…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.

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