Talk about stimulus funds being used for political benefits. What is the job creating argument that can be made for this? Notice also that the ads didn't run on Fox News, so it looks like the Obama administration is funneling money to their political supporters. From the Washington Times (Jim McElhatton, "Labor Department spends stimulus funds for ads during Olbermann, Maddow shows," August 21):
Spending reports under the federal Recovery Act show $495,000 paid to McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC, which the Labor Department hired to raise awareness “among employers and influencers about the [Job Corps] program’s existing and new training initiatives in high growth and environmentally friendly career areas” as well as spreading the word to prospective Job Corps enrollees.
Ultimately, the firm negotiated ad buys for “two approved spots” airing 14 times per week for two months on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and “The Rachel Maddow Show,” according to a project report, which listed the number zero under a section of the report asking how many jobs had been created through the stimulus contract. . . .
Labor Department research showed advertisements would reach the target demographic of business owners and managers interested in hiring “green trained” employees through a programming list that initially also included shows hosted by CNN’s Larry King and public television’s Jim Lehrer, as well as the two MSNBC programs where the ads eventually appeared.
But public television was eliminated because advertising rates were too high, according Labor officials. And Larry King was dropped because MSNBC held the potential to reach more viewers, officials said. Officials gave no indication whether their research indicated if Fox News, ESPN or other cable outlets were considered for the Job Corps ads. . . .
UPDATE: Washington Times August 30th:
A House panel is calling on the U.S. Department of Labor to turn over all records involving a half-million dollar contract funded through President Obama’s $831 billion stimulus program that paid for more than 100 commercials on MSNBC touting a “green jobs” initiative. . . . .
But spending reports showed that no jobs were created through the contract. The Washington Times first reported on the contract earlier this month, quoting one taxpayer watchdog who questioned not only the lack of jobs but why the commercials aired only on MSNBC, considered the most liberal of the major cable news outlets.
Republican leaders on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which oversees the Labor Department, are raising similar questions in a recent letter they sent to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
The letter, signed by Reps. John Kline of Minnesota, chairman of the committee, and Phil Roe of Tennessee, who chairs the panel’s subcommittee on health, employment, labor and pension issues, seeks all documents and communications concerning the public relations contract, as well as a list of dates, attendees and topics for any meetings between Labor officials and the public relations firm concerning the “public relations strategy.”
“We understand this contract used taxpayer dollars purchase advertisements on MSNBC during ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ and ‘The Rachel Maddow Show,’” the lawmakers wrote. . . . .
Labels: book3, ObamaCorruption, stimulus