DECEMBER 09, 2009
In the latest of numerous examples of the pervasive fraud and abuse in stimulus spending, nearly $6 million in federal funds went to Hillary Clinton’s longtime confidant and chief campaign strategist with a cut of the money going to one of President Obama’s top Florida advisers.
Clinton’s close friend and campaign guru Mark Penn received $5.97 million from the government to save three jobs at his global public relations firm (Burson-Marsteller), according to the congressional newspaper that broke the story this week. The official government version is that Penn’s firm won a contract to help prepare “unready households for the DTV (digital television) transition.”
The Obama Administration justifies the nearly $6 million taxpayer investment as a campaign to “bolster the reach, penetration and impact of the FCC’s (Federal Communication Commission) DTV readiness message in selected markets, specifically among groups that had been determined to be the most at risk.” A separate firm headed by a well-known south Florida Obama adviser and lobbyist (Alfredo Balsera), got $70,000 to help craft the Hispanic message.
All of the money came from the monstrous, $787 billion stimulus Obama promised would jumpstart the economy and put Americans back to work. Instead, unemployment is at an all-time high and tens of billions of dollars have been lost to waste, fraud and abuse. In a desperate effort to make the recovery plan look successful the Obama Administration has drastically inflated the number of jobs it has created and published other falsities as facts to help boost its image.
Penn is hardly the first politically connected figure to reap in stimulus funds but he certainly ranks among the best known. In 2000 the longtime Clinton pal helped the Secretary of State overcome the huge obstacle of winning a U.S. Senate seat in a state that she had no ties to. In 2008 he earned millions as the chief strategist of Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.
One notoriously liberal news web site calls Penn the head of a bipartisan corporate conglomerate specializing in influence peddling, lobbying, phony front groups and manufactured hype. His companies represent the relentless cultivation and manipulation of political connections to generate wealth for a handful of operatives at taxpayer expense and in blatant defiance of the public will, according to the assessment.
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