FCC taking closer look at dubious use of federal grants

Chris White of the Daily Caller reports on a new investigation from the Federal Communications Commission.

A commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission wants to know why two liberal nonprofit groups are using revenue from a federal program designed to give poor children internet access on various progressive pet projects.

Organizations involved in a FCC-program dolling out broadband internet for kids might be siphoning off millions of dollars for their own purposes, according to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. The Educational Broadcast Service (EBS) licenses are intended to help schools, but Carr believes revenue from the program is going to political causes.

“In addition to letting schools use it, we opened it up to allow qualifying nonprofits to hold these licenses,” he told his Twitter followers on July 3. “They had to be nonprofits for the purpose of providing educational material. Then we allowed these entities to lease out their commercial spectrum to commercial entitles like Sprint.”

Carr sent letters to the three groups: Voqal, North American Catholic Educational Programming Founding (NACEPF) and Rockne Educational TV, who he believes are the most responsible for the ruse.

“In your latest annual report, you highlight a number of donations you have made to political and advocacy groups. Organizations by the same name as two of your grantees — Arizona WINS and WIN Minnesota — appear to expressly advocate for the defeat of political candidates,” he noted in one letter to Voqal President John Schwartz.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

Reader Comments