Issa hits Obama admin for extensive use of ‘propaganda’ to boost health care, other priorities

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, is blasting the Obama administration in a new report, charging the administration has engaged in an “unprecedented” propaganda effort to sell the president’s health care and other policies.

“Under one-party rule in 2009, the White House used the machinery of the Obama campaign to tout the President’s agenda through inappropriate and sometimes unlawful public relations and propaganda initiatives,” the report says.

Conservative critics have railed on the Obama White House in a number of specific instances, alleging the administration was improperly using taxpayer dollars for partisan gain. But the report by Issa, Obama’s chief congressional tormentor, is a significant new effort by congressional Republicans to tie these incidents together into a single narrative.

Issa’s report cites as evidence for his charges 11 separate episodes where the report says the administration abused taxpayer resources and, in some cases, violated federal law.

Those include well-known flash points like expensive road signs touting economic progress under the economic stimulus law and an attempt in the early months of the administration to coordinate taxpayer-funded art to boost the president’s legislative priorities.

But it also includes a number of lesser-known episodes including a government-funded online web form allowing users to urge members of Congress to pass health care legislation and the shady online practices of a Justice Department spokeswoman.

One of the Obama administration’s more expensive “propaganda” efforts, according to the report, was a television commercial boosting the then-newly passed health care law. The advertisement features 84-year-old television star Andy Griffith and was designed to sell senior citizens, whom polls show are particularly opposed to ObamaCare, on the “good things [that] are coming” in the law.

“Free check ups, lower prescription costs, and better ways to protect us and Medicare from fraud . . . I think you’re gonna like it,” Griffith said in the ad. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal agency responsible for implementing the health care law, paid $700,000 for the commercial, the Issa report says.

Faced with controversy regarding the advertisement over the summer, an administration spokeswoman said it was necessary to ensure “seniors have the information they need.” The administration ended up yanking the ad, though.

Issa in the report charges that the advertisement was “purely partisan in nature” and thus violates federal law.

Another important instance cited by Issa’s report regarding the health care bill involves Jonathan Gruber, a noted health care expert who was revealed to be making hundreds of thousands of dollars from government contracts during the period he was authoring editorials in favor of the health care law and being cited by journalists for his health care expertise.

Gruber was paid by nearly $300,000 by HHS for “technical assistance” as a consultant on estimating the economic impact of the health care law. Gruber did not disclose his government contracts when discussing the health care law with numerous journalists. Articles that relied on Gruber’s testimony and were favorable to the health care law were promoted vigorously by the president himself.

  • Aroen

    When is someone going to go after Big Al? He has been perpetrating the biggest fraud on the world since the late 90’s? Global Warming?

    • Momma M

      Though this needs to be done (b’bye gore).. We need to first concentrate on the fraud/waste/abuse and lies of our CURRENT politicians! Once they’re gone, weeding out the scum will be a lot easier!

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  • baal

    I hope the Republicans don’t lose their anti-big gov’t ways as soon as they are in the drivers seat. They have a bad reputation for doing just that. I remember wondering the same thing before Bush got elected, and they went from anti-big government reformers to Ultra Corrupt Scum in a matter of minutes.

    I worry that they haven’t spent enough time in exile. But, good for Mr. Issa!

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  • libertyatstake

    2011 sure is gonna be fun – when it’s Chairman Issa.

    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  • recovered dem

    I really like Issa! He is spot on!!!!!!!

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  • Hex

    And republicans don’t use propaganda? I guess the key difference is in the term “extensive use”! Isn’t this in itself propaganda?

    • rainmaker1145

      They won’t need to because liberals are corrupt dirt bags.

      We have jobs gate – this one will ultimately end with Obama facing criminal charges.

      We have Shirley Sherrod gate – this one also involves Obama as the perpetrator of a $1.25 billion fraud when he was a senator. And you thought he got rid of Shirley because of what she said? Fool, he got rid of her because of his involvement in the caper – an involvement that MUST be kept quiet, but will come out.

      We have the New Black Panthers Party case. This will give us Holder too.

      We have Romanoff gate. This proves the criminal Sestak “jobs gate” continued.

      We have BP gate. They knew there were problems in early February and turned their back on BP and then acted like they knew nothing.

      We have so many things to investigate, so many charges to make, so many indictments to be billed…

      We’ll use your favorite venue – the courts! See you when court is in session, baby… hahahahahahahahahaha!

    • amabOssAyMssiK

      Let’s see Hex, the uber-left has PBS, ABC, NBC, Huffing-Paint Post, PMS-LSD, See BS, NYT, LAT, WaPo, WaTimes, CNN, National Endowment For Arts and every college campus news paper in the US is in the tank for Chairman O. FOX news is the only TV network news that is openly conservative and there are a few blogs, radio personalities and opinion talkers that are conservative, do the math…

    • thephranc

      inappropriate and sometimes unlawful public relations and propaganda initiatives,”

      No the key term here is unlawful.

    • recovered dem

      Well Hex, Obama has spent $825,000 tax payer dollars on propaganda trying to convince seniors that they will not be hurt by Obamacare. Color brochures and an Andy Griffith commercial. That is only two items of propaganda that Obama has spent nearly a Million of our dollars on. Issa is absolutely correct.

  • jayare

    propaganda;1)information or ideas methodically spread to promote or injure a cause, nation,ect..2)the deliberate spreading of such information or ideas.sounds a lot like every political ad i have ever heard,both parties do that

    • Ms. Jones

      Which government agency signs your paycheck?

  • rainmaker1145

    Yep, this spring is going to be hell for Democrats. Special prosecutors, grand juries, indictments and the whole nine yards.

    Politicians, journOlists, bankers, activities and foreign agents – all being prosecuted for their corruptions, all going to jail and all being disgraced.

    It’s just the beginning. We’re going to destroy the liberal-progressive movement’s market appeal and prospects for returning to power ever again.

    If you are a liberal-progressive, now would be a good time to get your passport and emigrate. It’s going to be no fun being one here in America ever again.