Assigned Reading: Obama-tied Firms Benefit from Health Care Push
(FROM: Bloomberg)

Two firms that received $343.3 million to handle advertising for Barack Obama’s White House run last year have profited from his top priority as president by taking on his push for health-care overhaul.

One is AKPD Message and Media, the Chicago-based firm headed by David Axelrod until he left last Dec. 31 to serve as a senior adviser to the president. Axelrod was Obama’s top campaign strategist and is now helping sell the health-care plan. The other firm is Washington-based GMMB Campaign Group, where partner Jim Margolis was also an Obama strategist.

This year, AKPD and GMMB received $12 million in advertising business from Healthy Economy Now, a coalition that includes the Washington-based Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, that is seeking to build support for a health-care overhaul, said the coalition’s spokesman, Jeremy Van Ess.

I don’t know if I can cover this any better than did the cable shows tonight, and I’m fairly certain that one of the writers will be adding something about this issue shortly. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make it any less egregious.

I’d say “shocking,” but is anyone surprised?

Actually, to be completely honest, I’m not as offended by the blatant self-dealing, conflict of interest and cronyism here–that’s to be expected with this Chicago-style White House–as I am with the hypocrisy.

For example, when George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq to oust a brutal dictator, the political left insisted that it was carefully crafted so he and Dick Cheney could benefit, financially, from their contacts in the oil industry and the latter’s ties to Halliburton. Yet, here, there’s no mention of any wrongdoing or self-dealing by Axelrod. Noooooo. That would be . . . consistent.

Nor is there any attention paid to the fact that the White House has been accusing ordinary concerned Americans attending town hall meetings of being “astroturf,” members of a faux grassroots movement organized by groups like Conservatives For Patients Rights, yet it is the White House which has returned to its organizational roots. It was Axelrod and his flunkies who sent out e-mails–including to people who didn’t want them, like me–urging union members and Obama supporters to attend at least one town meeting; It was Obama’s own “Organizing for America” group that has been bussing in supporters from outside congressional districts. And it was Obama’s own campaign ad firms which have been creating and flooding the airwaves with advertisements filled with falsehoods promoting health care reform.

The corruption and self-dealing I’ve grown accustomed to. It’s the hypocrisy that still makes me shake my head.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, but I don't like the corruption much either.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How great is it that this post by Jeff, the main point of which is to accuse Democrats of hypocrisy, appears directly above the post in which Robert claims "But the hypocrisy accusation is a Democratic political reflex. Don't have a better idea? Start shouting 'hypocrite!' while you give yourself time to think of something better."?

    I agree with the second two sentences Robert, but it looks like you might want to rethink the first one.

  3. SPOT THE OBOT says:

    Wonder which till Jeffrey is being paid out of?

  4. MR GOODWRENCH says:

    Wheels of corruption rest securely on the axle rod.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Judge, The Jurisdiction
    Look for a case number today…

    Word up folks

    "Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit."
    -Vince Lombardi

    "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams

    "We must all hang together, or, assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
    -Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

    Pixel Patriot

  6. Anonymous says:

    Pixel Patriot,

    that is some exciting stuff!
    God bless our ability to redress.


    That is come pretty interesting juxtaposition.


    WASHINGTON – The number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly for the second straight week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as other data show the economy is stabilizing.

    The Labor Department said Thursday the number of new jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 576,000 last week, from a revised figure of 561,000. Wall Street economists expected a drop to 550,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

    Economists closely watch initial claims, which are considered a gauge of layoffs and an indication of companies' willingness to hire new workers.

    The figures are volatile, and had been trending down, after remaining above 600,000 for most of this year. The new report indicates that the labor market is still weak. In a healthy economy, initial claims are usually around 325,000 or below.

    The four-week average of initial claims, which smooths out fluctuations, rose for the second straight week to 570,000.

  9. foytik says:

    I don't see the corruption or cronyism in this. Two private companies, AKPD and GMMB, that handle political advertising and campaigning have been contracted by a private company to do $12 million in political advertising. They are not getting any taxpayer money are they? The what is the problem? Yes they worked with Obama during his campaign, and this advertising for phRMA is also helping promote Obama's health care plan, but that is allowed. No harm, no foul. Or what am I missing?

  10. Rix says:

    I'll join Foytik in his dissent. The sinister purpose of this advertising doesn't make it criminal by itself unless taxpayer money is being spent on it. Mr. Axelrod is free to keep Soros' money in the family.

  11. T.I.M. says:

    Hypocrisy: 1) Obama blocks offshore drilling in the US, then provides $2 billion in loans for drilling off Brazil by a company that is now George Soros' biggest investment. Is this payback for "grassroots" $$?
    2) Libs, having blasted George Bush for invoking religion, have no problem with Obama saying "we are God's partners in matters of life and death."

  12. Anonymous says:

    Very good, T.I.M., wonder what our professor from Canada has to say to that. Take it away, Prof Shallit.

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