By: Jeffrey Klein
Do you ever get that funny feeling that something is just not right–in the Obama Administration?
Well, then you have been joined by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), former Bush Administration Office of Management and Budget director, and Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO), who on Wednesday blasted out letters to 11 federal agencies asking for detailed information about public relations and advertising contracts over the past three years, according to a FOXNews article today.
Both Senators were compelled by several reports they received, indicating that the Obama Administration has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to promote the president’s political agenda, which is not acceptable, versus informing the public about government programs.
“It’s a longstanding concern. … The question is, what are they paying for public relations services?” Portman told Fox News today. “Sometimes it’s legitimate, to help educate the public about something that the government is doing. … but often, it’s spin.”
“And that’s the question — is how much of it is spin, [and] how much of it is inappropriate?”
Both Sen. Portman and Sen. McCaskill are the top lawmakers on the Contracting Oversight Subcommittee, within the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and as such, they are requesting the names of contractors, the amount of money spent, descriptions of the work and other details.
One of the first is a “major document request” aimed at the Department of Health and Human Services, headed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. A Portman aide said they were probing publicly funded “spin,” cited in a report last summer by Judicial Watch, which specifically identified millions spent on the promotion of the new federal health care overhaul—commonly referred to as “Obamacare.”
The Judicial Watch report detailed documents showing that federal health officials contracted with noted public relations firm, The Ogilvy Group to promote its new website. But, communications with Ogilvy reflected a “desired” strategy to target women and minorities.
A 2010 email with one Ogilvy executive, indicated that officials wanted to use the “bulk” of the $3.5 million paid … “on media that reaches African Americans and Hispanics.”
According to HHS, it was a “critical” way to make sure people are aware of their “rights, protections and benefits” under the health care law.
The Portman aide pointed to a 2010 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report, claimed that … “The Obama administration frequently used federal resources to promote the president’s agenda,” [such that] “ordinary Americans have financed and been exposed to an unprecedented number of public relations and propaganda efforts” … since the beginning of the Obama administration.
“The president’s right to sell his policy recommendations to Congress and the public is not disputed; however, using the resources of the federal government to activate a sophisticated propaganda and lobbying campaign is an abuse of office and a betrayal of the president’s pledge to create ‘an unprecedented level of openness in government’.”
Shining a bright light into this backroom will cut off yet another source of taxpayer funds, forcing Barack Obama to sacrifice his own campaign war chest in an attempt to distract voters from his disastrous presidential record.
So–fuel made from pond scum and free birth control for women is his “Plan B”?
You have to admire Obama’s audacity…
Copyright (c) 2012 by Jeffrey Klein