"Where the libs go to get the dough"
by Delegate Mike McDermott
Lately the Times has been full of articles about Delmarva Public Radio. Despite a $135 Million in additional State Debt provided to Salisbury University to pay for a new “library” courtesy of Delegate Norm Conway and the Democrats, the school could find no more room for the station on campus. The paper provided a platform for this supposedly listener supported station to launch their fund raising drives and awareness summoning all liberals and progressives to come to the aid of one of their own (although many conservatives enjoy classical music, the vast array of programming does not just lean left…it falls over).
With all of this attention, I thought surely those folks would rise to the occasion or the school would throw them a bone from that $135 Million (that’s $49 Million for planning and design plus $51 Million for bricks and mortar this year alone). Boy was I surprised on the last Saturday of the 2013 Session when I looked through a supplemental budget debt appropriation that included an amendment to provide Delmarva Public Radio $900,000.00 to cover relocation, equipment, and whatever else they deem appropriate. Not a bad day’s work for a station that claims an annual operating budget of $1 Million.
It seems the station has an ardent supporter in Delegate Norm Conway, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Why let a little thing like “public input” stand in the way between friends? To say that I am appalled at this reckless disregard for public spending is putting is putting it mildly. To see the paper fail to mention this “modest” donation courtesy of the taxpayers of this state is disturbing.
There are other “listener supported” radio stations in our state. The vast majority of them are Christian stations such as WOLC (102.5 FM) in Princess Anne. They all conduct annual “share-a-thons” which often cover a number of days whereby they receive pledges and donations upon which they base their budget. I wonder what they could do with a million bucks.
Our airwaves are full of commercial radio stations all competing for those precious dollars of advertising that tend to go toward those that have the greater listenership and programming. Like every other business, they have had a tough go of it in this Maryland economy. I’m sure a cool million would quench a few thirsts from where they sit.
At a time when our local governments are struggling and many needs cannot be met, it’s no wonder this little million dollar gem tried to slip in unannounced through the back door. We must expect better from our leaders.
Marylanders…take back your state!