recovery.gov photoshop Some outrageous news from The Hill today, Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign pollster, Mark Penn’s public relations firms received almost $6 million in stimulus money.  Also, one of President Barack Obama’s campaign advisors also benefitted from stimulus money, Alexander Bolton reports:

Federal records show that $5.97 million from the $787 billion stimulus helped preserve three jobs at Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations and communications firm headed by Penn.

Burson-Marsteller won the contract to work on a public-relations campaign to advertise the national switch from analog to digital television. Nearly $2.8 million of the contract was issued to Penn’s polling firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, according to federal records.

Federal records also show that a former adviser to President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign received nearly $70,000 from that contract to help alert viewers in difficult-to-reach communities that their televisions would soon no longer receive broadcast signals.

The adviser, Alfredo J. Balsera, who heads a public-affairs firm based in Coral Gables, Fla., helped craft Obama’s Hispanic advertising message.

It sees shady that campaign workers are recipients of stimulus dollars.  Is this the ethics and transparency we were promised?  No way, this is typical Chicago politics.  You help me, I’ll help you.  And believe me, stimulus dollars are being used to bolster Democrats as an overwhelming majority of the money is headed to Democratic Congressional Districts, at least as seen in Ohio, where stimulus jobs must cost more in Democratic Congressional Districts.  Can we believe that President Obama wants to effect change in Ohio 2010 Congressional races?  Yes We Can!

Then the second thing I would like to know is why in the world would public relations/advertising be considered stimulus?  Then spending to the tune of over $6.5 million on this project?  I guess considering they spent $18 million to revamp Recovery.gov it shouldn’t surprise us.  You know where we discovered new Congressional districts.  Amazing.

How are you loving this hope-n-change?

10 comments
  1. This does bother me, but considering it’s such a tiny portion of the stimulus package, I don’t think it can reasonably be used as a blanket condemnation of the entire administration. A molehill does not equal a mountain.
    I wish politics could be different in America (term limits in Congress would automatically solve most “insider” problems, IMO), but this really isn’t something you can pin on Obama.
    Compared to the Iraq no-bid contracts given to Bush-Cheney buddies, the amount here is almost laughable.
    So, yeah: let’s slap their hands a bit on this one. One of the reasons I’m glad we have a free & independent press. But in the larger scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal.

    1. @Adam, this is just but one example of how ARRA money is being wasted.

      The disparity of Democratic Congressional districts getting stimulus cash compared to Republican should be noteworthy as well.

      ARRA is a joke and has done little to create jobs.

      1. @Shane Vander Hart,
        If it is “but one example,” I assume you have more that are as blatant in their bias?
        What are the hard numbers on GOP vs. Democratic districts? Have you solved for the percentage of citizens of the particular state employed by the business in said district? Statistics can be made to say anything, depending on the agenda of the publisher.

  2. If this is “just a tiny portion”, it still has enormous implications and calls into question the ethics of those handing out tiny portions. It is MY money and YOURS that they gave to Arizona University for ant research! Do ants stimulate the economy and create jobs? If the White House wanted to understand ants, then a cheap ant farm could be found at any children’s science and learning store!

    “Half a million dollars went to Arizona State University to study the genetic makeup of ants to determine distinctive roles in ant colonies; $450,000 went to the University of Arizona to study the division of labor in ant colonies.”
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/71353-mark-penn-got-6-million-from-stimulus

    This is bigger than an ant hill and a mole hill. This is about the same irresponsible pork barrell spending and log rolling that both parties are responsible for cleaning up, yet few actually do. The President himself promised his minions on the campaign trail that this would be a different kind of leadership. It is different all right….instead of a clean up job, transparency etc, there is more manure brought into the mix on the tax payers dime!

    I don’t know what it will take to clean up the corruption in Washington. People are by nature corrupted by power, but that doesn’t need to be an excuse for giving into unethical practices. If you can’t stand tall and do the right thing, then don’t go where you are sure to be bribed by some kind of monetary/power gift. I wish we could dredge the whole rotten lake and replace every single seat, (including the thousands of bureaucratic jobs) with fresh fish!
    GRRRR! I am frustrated can you tell?

    1. @Mary Selby,
      What makes you think any of your money is “yours,” as opposed to your neighbor’s? How much of “your” money did you earn without traveling on taxpayer-funded streets, without depending on taxpayer-funded police & fire protection of your house, without taxpayer-oversight-regulated water & power utilities? You are not an island. You cannot succeed without your neighbors empowering you to do so through their taxes, as neither can they without yours. I should think that any “christian” — ostensibly knowledgeable about “community” would find this self-evident.

  3. I must have been low on coffee! So much snarky angst in my post above! But, in a calmer mood, it is still exactly how I feel! 🙂

  4. @Adam, I am not anti-tax per se. I am anti-waste. I support a strong military, therefore, my tax dollars going to make my country safe is a good thing. I like driving on good roads, having emergency personnel paid for the jobs they do on our behalf.
    Jefferson put it so well in his 1801 inaugural address, “Still one thing more, fellow citizens, a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

    Jefferson, a democrat, understood the role of frugal government, and ours today is dismally lacking in each of the areas Jefferson stated. I believe he would be appalled and would come over to the dark side of conservatism and bring cookies too! 😉

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