The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is the federal agency responsible for all U.S. government international broadcasting, including Voice of America and U.S. broadcasts into countries like Iran and Cuba.
President Bush appointed “staunch conservative” Kenneth Tomlinson to the board of the BBG in 2001, and nominated him to serve as Chairman in
2004 2002. Today, a State Dept. inspector general’s report was made public showing that Tomlinson has abused his position and effectively defrauded taxpayers. Among the lowlights, Tomlinson:
– used BBG resources to support his personal horse racing operation;
– requested the hiring of a personal friend as a contractor without the knowledge of other board members or staff, and signed invoices providing almost $250,000 in compensation even though the contractor provided no written reports or other supporting documentation required by the contract;
– requested and received compensation that exceeded the maximum allowed by law;
If this story sounds familiar, it is. Tomlinson resigned last year from the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after the CPB inspector general found Tomlinson had used “agency money to hire consultants and lobbyists without notifying the agency’s board,” among various other offenses.
Today, Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) wrote President Bush urging him to immediately remove Tomlinson from his position. (Read the full letter HERE.) Hopefully Tomlinson has the decency to resign first.