November 23, 2009: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has launched a "Spotlight on Spending" series to highlight items in his Control Spending Now Act, which includes 40 items that, the senator says, will reduce the government deficit by more than half a trillion dollars.
The first provision featured by Feingold's press office is Radio Marti, launched in 1983 to broadcast 24 hours of programming designed to undermine the Castro regime. TV Marti debuted in 1990. Both are operated by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting under the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Feingold's office cites Radio and TV Marti as wasteful, among other reasons, because their signals are jammed by the Cuban government and their audiences are small. The Broadcasting Board of Governors has also said that they fail to meet journalistic standards of "balance and objectivity."
Feingold said, "This relic of the Cold War attempts to broadcast radio and TV signals into Cuba that virtually no one tunes in to. Government studies show that Radio and TV Marti are riddled with problems, and fall short of journalistic standards. As we progress toward a more modern and constructive relationship with Cuba, Radio and TV Martí no longer have any real diplomatic or fiscal purpose."