Our new administration has community and public radio in its sights, with a drive to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. This has been in the works for a long time, the far right chipping away at funding for non-commercial media.

Now U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., who says that “this money could be put to better use rebuilding our military and enhancing our national security,” has introduced two bills to finish it off: HR 726 and HR 727. And the votes are probably there!

We need more support, not less, for our small local community radio stations across the country, and for public radio, to bring us the local and state coverage we need to conduct a living democracy.

Radio coverage is relatively cheap and fast (can be done with phone connections and simple recording devices) and publicly supported stations are less vulnerable to big-money influence. Which is why this attempt to knock them out is going on. It’s all about information control and muzzling the press. (I’ve lived under several dictatorships, and it feels familiar.)

Please contact your lawmakers during this week’s congressional recess and ask them to defend community and public radio against this attack. Sen. Susan Collins can be reached at 780-3575 in Portland and 283-1101 in Biddeford; Sen. Angus King at (800) 432-1599; Rep. Chellie Pingree at 774-5019 in Portland and 873-5713 in Waterville; and Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Bangor at 942-0583.

Beedy Parker