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Political Arts Policies: An Addition


by Jerome Weeks 5 Sep 2008

Because my blog post last week about the arts policies of the presidential candidates has received a great deal of attention around the web, I thought it was important to note a significant addition to the original post: CORRECTION/AMPLIFICATION: Because of that single statement [by John McCain] about obscenity and federal subsidies, I attributed to […]

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Because my blog post last week about the arts policies of the presidential candidates has received a great deal of attention around the web, I thought it was important to note a significant addition to the original post:

CORRECTION/AMPLIFICATION: Because of that single statement [by John McCain] about obscenity and federal subsidies, I attributed to John McCain a willingness to fund the arts (while making certain that anything “obscene” would not be funded) . It’s a willingness that, in fact, may not be there at all, at least as demonstrated by some of his legislative actions.

According to Elizabeth Currid of the  University of Southern California, writing for USC’s Election 2008 website (”a special resource for journalists”), McCain “has a historical track record of supporting anti-arts legislation, including the 1999 Smith-Ashcroft Amendment, which would have cut all funding for the NEA; and the 1989 Helms Amendment, which aimed to deny funding to art considered ‘obscene.’

McCain, she concludes “doesn’t have an arts policy, other than a desire to eliminate spending directed toward the arts.”

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