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Your NEA cultural tax dollars at work

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 12, 2008 05:15 PM

Yeah, but whose nation?

Isn’t this special? Cash-strapped Los Angeles, which struggles to keep its own libraries afloat, is planning to set aside nearly $2 million in federal grants from the NEA to build and operate a pavilion at a book fair…

…in Mexico.

Via Mayor Sam’s Sister City blog:

When the City of Los Angeles was struggling to balance its budget on the backs of local libraries, most of whom do not have enough books for local children, a little known plan was hatched within the bowels of the City’s Cultural Affairs Department to spend up to $2 million in Federal grant money on the City’s participation in a book fair in Jalisco, Mexico, including the construction of a pavilion for the event.

You may remember back in May significant cuts for the library were proposed including a fee charged on children who borrowed books from other branches across the city through an inter-library exchange. Citizens banded together to save library funding while librarians were instructed to shake down Neighborhood Councils for book funding. Indeed, the Mid-Town North Hollywood Neighborhood Council voted to forgo an election mailer in order to fund the library (at a vote taken literally minutes before an announcement from Councilmember Wendy Greuel that funding had been restored). At the Neighborhood Council elections about a month later, turnout was about 100 voters in a community of 95,000.

The proposed cuts and fees never happened and $2 million was restored to the library budget as Council Member “Sleepy” Greig “Good Deal” Smith gleefully boasted to CityWatch.

Tuesday the Council will vote on a motion by Councilmembers LaBonge and Huizar to approve the $1.6 million in funding for the book fair.

The public funds will also be used for security required by the Mexican book fair operators and includes a requirement to “subcontract with a Mexican
construction firm to build and install the showcase pavilion in Guadalajara, as
recommended by the NEA.”

The proposal is here.

Maybe I should donate copies of Invasion to sell at the book fair.

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