The National Park Service has encountered criticism after taking part in the Republican National Convention by releasing a video promoting President Donald Trump and for planning to host a fireworks show after his acceptance speech.
The NPS this week released a video praising Trump for passing the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that grants parks additional funding, which Trump has repeatedly proposed cutting in the annual budget.
“You shouldn't have a federal government agency putting out a video that's essentially a very loosely disguised campaign spot,” Delaney Marsco of the Campaign Legal Center told The Hill. “My sense is that this administration doesn't particularly care about respecting the line between political and official business, and that’s the problem. They’re willing to use agencies and public lands for political purposes.”
“Federal appropriations laws make it clear government dollars are meant to be used to serve the American public, not to help political office holders remain in power, and that appears to be what this video and what this event on the Mall is designed to do,” said Donald Sherman, the deputy director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.
“Enlisting the Park Service to put on a show for the Republican National Convention is another deviation, even from his own past practice, and a bridge too far in using federal resources for political activity,” he added.
A spokesperson for the NPS told the Hill that the agency “will recover from the RNC all costs incurred as a result of the activity, including NPS administrative costs for permit preparation and management of the event, and monitoring of the activity to ensure compliance with the conditions of the permit.”
“The blame for politicizing these spaces lies with the president and the folks asking the Park Service to do this kind of stuff,” said Marsco.
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