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Archive for December 10th, 2009

One of the hidden aspects of Washington is the way the rich and powerful manipulate the system by funneling tax dollars into each other’s pockets. This story from The Hill explains how a top Democratic pollster at a big PR firm got about $6 million of other people’s money as part of the so-called stimulus. A fortune to the average American, but routine graft in the nation’s capital. But isn’t that what makes it so nauseating?

A contract worth nearly $6 million in stimulus funds was awarded by the Obama adminstration to two firms run by Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s pollster in 2008. Federal records show that a contract worth $5.97 million, part of the $787 billion stimulus Congress passed this year, 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 awarded through a subcontract to Penn’s polling firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland, 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 ssoon no longer receive broadcast signals.

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