The meeting was dedicated to putting community organizers and artists in the same room, with the tacit promise of funding from the NEA ever present. According to the report, that promise was actually more than tacit: Garcia Durham allegedly told the assembled crowd that "government and its policies should be shaped by participants' voices in connection with the NEA."
There's only one problem with this: it's illegal. Under the Anti-Lobbying Act, government employees may not expressly urge individuals to "contact government officials in support of or opposition to legislation." Nor may they “provide administrative support for lobbying activities of private organizations." Under the Hatch Act, similarly, federal employees cannot solicit or discourage participation in political activity for anyone under consideration for a federal grant or contract.
Under the regulations of the Office of Management and Budget, all charitable 501(c)(3) organizations -- organizations like the Center for Community Change -- are forbidden from receiving funds that go to "the enactment or modification of any pending federal or state legislation by preparing, distributing or using publicity or propaganda." All of these laws may have been violated.
This isn't just about violation of federal law, however. This is about an administration that sees no problem with using its resources to entrench an extra-governmental mass movement it can mobilize at a moment's notice. President Obama himself has endorsed that strategy, keeping his non-governmental "Organizing for America" program up and running.
President Obama campaigned on change. He's echoing Marx in his embrace of perpetual change. What's more, he's abandoning his commitments to transparency and honesty by utilizing base political graft to achieve his permanent revolution.