Porkulus paid Hillary aide $6 million, saved three jobs

posted at 1:36 pm on December 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Why do we call the stimulus package passed by Congress in February “Porkulus”?  The bill mostly contained progressive agenda items that had nothing to do with job creation, and political payoffs like this (via JWF):

Nearly $6 million in stimulus money was paid to two firms run by Mark Penn (photo above), Hillary Clinton’s pollster in 2008.

Federal records show that $5.97 million from the $787 billion stimulus 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 issued to Penn’s polling firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, according to federal records.

When Democrats said that they were going to spend almost a trillion dollars to stimulate the economy, most Americans would have taken that to mean almost anything but giving money to Democratic Party pollsters.  This, however, is entirely representative of how Porkulus was created.  Except for some tax breaks that Republicans pressured Democrats into including — while loudly objecting to them — almost the entirety of the $787 billion package went to either these kind of politically-connected recipients, states looking to paper over bad budgeting, temp jobs, or economic interventions like Cash for Clunkers.

And what has been the result?  Unemployment has soared well past the 8% cap that the Obama administration promised if Congress gave it the Porkulus funds.  We’re now in double digit unemployment, and most analysts expect that number to rise through the next three quarters.  And why shouldn’t it?  We’ve pulled capital out of the hands of people who actually create jobs, and handed it to people like Mark Penn, who saved three jobs at a taxpayer cost of $2 million per job.

If we actually had a Congress, it would investigate the cronyism that has gone into the spending of Porkulus dollars.  However, since it was this Congress that made cronyism an essential part of Porkulus from the beginning, don’t hold your breath waiting for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to do their jobs.


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“Another sign that President Ogabe is on top of things and turning around the economy.”

-Bleeds Blue

This is going to mangle that earlier average of $250,000 per created job number that was bandied about. Yes I said bandied.

Bishop on December 9, 2009 at 1:40 PM

And another thing… we hear all the time about how all of the money hasn’t been spent yet, and to give it more time…

Yet this is what got priority?

Abby Adams on December 9, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Such a good looking bunch they are, these democratic operatives.

UltimateBob on December 9, 2009 at 1:40 PM

That’s the Chicago way, baby! Ask Michelle Obama about absurd raises.

alliebobbitt on December 9, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Couldn’t spend that money on the military though.

You know I just need $400,000 to pay off my house. Where’s my bailout?

Iblis on December 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Get that mop The One was talking about.

Trusser13 on December 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Could this be Hildabeast paying off her campaign debt?

alliebobbitt on December 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

It is nice to know the Democrats are the party of the little people who can scrape buy on jsut a few million each year.

TexasDave on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Seems to me that that fellow in the picture ATE a little too much porkulus. Man could use a salad now and then, it seems… :)

AW1 Tim on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Get that mop The One was talking about.

Trusser13 on December 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I’d like to use it to whack this fat idiot Mark Penn across the face.

UltimateBob on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

PR for Cankles is hard work.

davidk on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I am sure China is happy how its money is being “invested”.

WashJeff on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Will Obowma use this fact in his state of the union speech as a positive rather than the waste he claimed Biden would prevent?

FACT: Obowma has LOST 7 million jobs due to the failed Obama policies.

dthorny on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Who’s the toady in the headline pic?
Ugh. He’s going to need the 2 mil just to get a date.

Badger40 on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Could this be Hildabeast paying off her campaign debt?

alliebobbitt on December 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Bingo!

Knucklehead on December 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Wow….talk about the Poster Boy for Porkulus. He looks like he could be related to Waxman.

Patrick S on December 9, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Payback time.

Del Dolemonte on December 9, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Can someone explain to me why they are discussing a “jobs bill” when that was what porkulous was sold as and most of the money hasn’t been spent? I’m also confused how building roads helps the funemployed.

txag92 on December 9, 2009 at 1:44 PM

You know I just need $400,000 to pay off my house. Where’s my bailout?

Iblis on December 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Dude! 60k and I can retire.

davidk on December 9, 2009 at 1:44 PM

How much of the stimilus was spent and how much is left? I promise you the remainder of that money will be used to back Dems in the mid term elections. This is HIGWAY F-ING ROBBERY!!!!! 2 million per job? WTF! I gonna have to walk this one off. Mother f……

milwife88 on December 9, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Par for the course, this type of corruption is typical in Marxist countries. If people are not outraged by now they are sheep.

elduende on December 9, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I’m feeling a little under-stimulated…

Wyznowski on December 9, 2009 at 1:45 PM

NO

NO

NO

Remember Hillary saying she’d support Obama IF he helped raise money to pay off her campaign debts?????

SURPRISE!

SHE OWED PENN $5.7 mill

marklmail on December 9, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Didn’t Obama promise to pay Hillary’s outstanding campaign debts in exchange for her dropping her fight for the nomination?

And wasn’t the amount somewhere around $6 million? Hmmm.

TXUS on December 9, 2009 at 1:47 PM

That guy looks like a cross between Waxman and Bawney Frank.

txag92 on December 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Several million dollars to do a poll about a fait accompli – digital to analog TV.

Fraud. Pure and simple.

Wind Rider on December 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM

We still would be money ahead if he just gave each tax paying citizen $10,000.

Wyznowski on December 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Except for some tax breaks that Republicans pressured Democrats into including — while loudly objecting to them — almost the entirety of the $787 billion package went to either these kind of politically-connected recipients, states looking to paper over bad budgeting, temp jobs, or economic interventions like Cash for Clunkers.

$200 billion or so were tax cuts. “Almost the entirety” is strong language, given somewhere around 2/5′s of the entire package was tax cuts.

ernesto on December 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Cronyism. It’s the Chicago Way.

amerpundit on December 9, 2009 at 1:50 PM

That guy looks like a cross between Waxman and Bawney Frank.

txag92 on December 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM

I thought he was Porkulus in the flesh!

Shy Guy on December 9, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Wow….talk about the Poster Boy for Porkulus. He looks like he could be related to Waxman.

Patrick S on December 9, 2009 at 1:44 PM

That’ll leave a mark.

1921 C DRUM on December 9, 2009 at 1:52 PM

ernesto on December 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM

There were no tax cuts. It was a with-holding change that’ll be paid back next year. Stop repeating the myth.

lorien1973 on December 9, 2009 at 1:53 PM

“Another sign that President Ogabe is on top of things and turning around the economy.”

-Bleeds Blue

This is going to mangle that earlier average of $250,000 per created job number that was bandied about. Yes I said bandied.

Bishop on December 9, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Penn is Bleeds Brains.

BigWyo on December 9, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Out and out robbery by Democrats from 10 year old kids’ piggy banks. The next couple of generations are essentially going to be enslaved paying off this theft.

rbj on December 9, 2009 at 1:53 PM

They all have so much (ill gotten, stolen) money and yet they are all still so angry and unhappy and dour & eager to snuff out the unborn. Proof that money does not cure the “utopian” mental defect that is liberlism. Phucking criminals.

Ris4victory on December 9, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I’m sure the press has been hounding Hillary all morning for a comment.

Dripping with sarcasm.

sherry on December 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Never let a crisis go to waste.

OxyCon on December 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Obama paid Hillary’s $5,700,000 debt to Penn in return for her support.

marklmail on December 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM

That guy looks like a cross between Waxman and Bawney Frank.

txag92 on December 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Maybe he’s the love child from their wild night together.

UltimateBob on December 9, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Seriously, isn’t there something illegal about this, or at least highly unethical? Misusing taxpayer funds to settle campaign debts…sounds like a big investigative story there.

Waiting for the MSM to report in 3…2…1…

smartsy on December 9, 2009 at 1:57 PM

cough, cough, cough, the smoke is getting to be..too…thick…cough…

What clever thieves we have elected.

Kissmygrits on December 9, 2009 at 1:57 PM

“Efficiency,” Democrat style.

Good Lt on December 9, 2009 at 1:58 PM

He looks like that character from “Star Trek: TNG” that didn’t like Data. It was during the season Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) wasn’t on the show.

SouthernGent on December 9, 2009 at 1:59 PM

given somewhere around 2/5’s of the entire package was tax cuts.

It needs to be 5/5.

If 3/5 is government spending on itself and pork and payments to Democrat interest groups and pollsters, then you have your answer as to why this “stimulus” stimulated nothing…except for Mark Penn’s bank account and those of fellow Democrat politicos.

Own it. Your administration, ernesto.

Good Lt on December 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM

SouthernGent on December 9, 2009 at 1:59 PM

It’s sad that I know who you are talking about.

lorien1973 on December 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Paging Sheriff Joe Biden. Didn’t he say that anyone who wasted the money was going to have to deal with him? Can we expect a smackdown between Slimy Joe and Secretary of Nothing Hillary?

AmericanUnderground on December 9, 2009 at 2:02 PM

and the hits just keep on coming….

sheesh!

cmsinaz on December 9, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Striking similarity

UltimateBob on December 9, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Come to think of it, didn’t Hillary’s campaign owe Penn several million dollars?

AmericanUnderground on December 9, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Related: Democrats give federal government employees 2% pay raises

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/12/federal_employees_earn_2_pay_r.html

What unemployment? What recession? If you’re in government, it’s the golden years!

See you in 2010, scumocrats.

Good Lt on December 9, 2009 at 2:07 PM

I can’t believe that Americans elected these thieves into our government and that they get away with this kind of blatant theft. Even worse is that 46% of the public still support them, I’m ready to give up.

Dollayo on December 9, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Hillary still owed Penn 2.5 million bucks, the other 3.5 must be interest on that loan…yeah that’s it, interest. Now move along.

Bishop on December 9, 2009 at 2:09 PM

These amoral pigs are robbing us blind≥

rplat on December 9, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Ironic, the only transparency that Obama has provided is how to succeed as a terrorist against the USA.–Fred Thompson

The only thing that Porkulus funds is the destruction of America through FRAUD.

The only real jobs that Obama has created are for terrorists.

maverick muse on December 9, 2009 at 2:10 PM

One only has to know many precincts FDR bought in 1936 to understand why TARP has been extended to October 2010. And the fake jobs evaporated the day after the election too.

DanMan on December 9, 2009 at 2:10 PM

It’s crap like this that should be investigated with public televised hearings.

Blake on December 9, 2009 at 2:11 PM

It’s crap like this that should be investigated with public televised hearings.

Blake on December 9, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Yes, but who will initiate it?

marklmail on December 9, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Seriously, isn’t there something illegal about this, or at least highly unethical? Misusing taxpayer funds to settle campaign debts…sounds like a big investigative story there.

Waiting for the MSM to report in 3…2…1…

smartsy on December 9, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Well just ask yourself if Bush did something like this, what would be the response?

I know the GOP will have a lot on its plate when it retakes Congress and the White House in the next 3 years, but they have to clean up this mess and ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again. Term limits, a balanced budget amendment, strict oversight on every spending bill, complete transparency, a freeze on federal hiring and raises for federal employees, we need all of it.

Doughboy on December 9, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Obama paid Hillary’s $5,700,000 debt to Penn in return for her support.

marklmail on December 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM

I’d have no problem if Obama paid her debt. The outrage is that WE just paid off her debt, not Obama.

yogi41 on December 9, 2009 at 2:15 PM

It’s sad that I know who you are talking about.

lorien1973 on December 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Here he is!

SouthernGent on December 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM

These amoral pigs are robbing us blind≥

rplat on December 9, 2009 at 2:09 PM

It really is a democrat slush fund.

SouthernGent on December 9, 2009 at 2:19 PM

On a side note, MSNBC tried to interview Teller about this matter and he said nothing. /sarc

kingsjester on December 9, 2009 at 2:19 PM

SouthernGent on December 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Yep! The dude who played the game. He beat Data the first time, but Data won the second time. I’m so old.

lorien1973 on December 9, 2009 at 2:20 PM

lorien1973 on December 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM
SouthernGent on December 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Founding members of the HA Nerd Herd. LOL!

txag92 on December 9, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Two million a job???

I don’t think Tiger paid that much.

Angry Dumbo on December 9, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Burson-Marsteller won the contract to work on a public-relations campaign to advertise the national switch from analog to digital television.

The switch was to take place originally in mid February. I can’t remember when the decision was made to push it back to June, but I know that the switch was heavily advertised in the year before the original February deadline.

Let’s see, Obama won the election in November, Hillary was given the offer for her position sometime between in the transition period, before January I think. Somewhere in there the decision was made to push back the deadline for digital until June. The Pork laden bill was signed in February, with provisions to spend millions on advertising the switch to digital. Guess who gets the contract to do this advertising?

Don’t know if there was any connection to Obama and Hillary to push back the original deadline, since Bush was still President at that point, but the wasted dollars on the advertising was pure pork. Anyone who was watching over-the-air programming could not have already known about the change. The local TV stations talked about it as part of there newscasts and always had PSA’s advertising it. The TV stations had the equipment in place ready for the switch. There was a lot of fuss when the decision was made to delay the change. It was a political move, with the excuse that the viewers still hadn’t purchased the converter boxes, even though every household could get $80 in government vouchers. Well at least until the money ran out, and then more tax dollars were allocated for that program.

CBP on December 9, 2009 at 2:22 PM

This is just the tip of the iceberg. 1 trillion that went to nothing but graft and waste.

AUINSC on December 9, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Indefensible.

Didn’t Hillary owe Penn a bunch of dough? Part of the primary deal?

I loathe these people.

BuckeyeSam on December 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM

200 billion or so were tax cuts. “Almost the entirety” is strong language, given somewhere around 2/5’s of the entire package was tax cuts.

ernesto on December 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Details of the 200 billion in tax cuts, please.

And remember, a reduction in withholding rates, without a reduction of the tax rates, is not a tax cut. A lot of people are going to discover that this next April.

Yoop on December 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM

I don’t understand why the Obama Administration is treated with even a modicum of respect by the media anymore. I see headlines that say important-sounding things like “Obama to Spearhead Jobs Summit” and it’s as if the newspapers were treating a bunch of know-it-all high school dropouts like they have something legitimate to contribute to policy discussion.

These administration people are bumbling and corrupt — a malign clown college masquerading as a government. Nothing they do is serious, if by “serious” one taking a sober, informed view of a problem, and following it with a reasoned, good faith effort to address it. It’s all payoffs, cronyism, ineptitude and sophomoric Leftist dogma, supported by economic assumptions that would make Bernie Madoff blush. Honestly, we could do no worse if a pack of chimpanzees were running the executive branch. So when will the media stop covering for them?

We have elected a mob of arrogant children who are wrecking the country.

Cicero43 on December 9, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Seriously, does anyone think Palin wouldn’t be doing her best to put a stop to this?

Dems just laugh it off.

And where the hell is Sheriff Joe? I thought that this was his balliwick. What a POS.

BuckeyeSam on December 9, 2009 at 2:28 PM

$200 billion or so were tax cuts. “Almost the entirety” is strong language, given somewhere around 2/5’s of the entire package was tax cuts.

ernesto on December 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Tax cuts that are going to subject some 15 million recipient to income-tax reporting and income tax that they didn’t think they’d incur.

What a well-conceived tax cut!

BuckeyeSam on December 9, 2009 at 2:31 PM

And where the hell is Sheriff Joe?

BuckeyeSam on December 9, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Out back, in the outhouse, looking for his badge he dropped down the hole?

Yoop on December 9, 2009 at 2:32 PM

To quote Charlie Brown: “my stomach hurts”

Ann on December 9, 2009 at 2:41 PM

How is this legal?

WisCon on December 9, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Only 3 persons benefited?

Now I understand why Obamadumbie is asking for more ….

brace yourself for another Trillionic Stimulus 3.0.

More pay offs?

Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheAlamos on December 9, 2009 at 2:47 PM

200 billion or so were tax cuts. “Almost the entirety” is strong language, given somewhere around 2/5’s of the entire package was tax cuts.

ernesto on December 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Tax cuts for people who pay no taxes. AKA government handouts. Nice try though.

angryed on December 9, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Wow. How did Bush manage to do that?

scalleywag on December 9, 2009 at 2:53 PM

How is this legal?

WisCon on December 9, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Who said that it’s legal?

But maybe you’re right. In Obamadumbsie’s narcissistic world … anything he does is LEGAL because he’s the Lord of Chicago Corruptocracy.

TheAlamos on December 9, 2009 at 2:53 PM

It is time to start stimulating the economy & creating jobs. Support your local gun dealer & start shooting these criminal bastards.
Money into the economy.
New job vacancies needing to be filled.

Danny on December 9, 2009 at 2:53 PM

I’d have no problem if Obama paid her debt. The outrage is that WE just paid off her debt, not Obama.

yogi41 on December 9, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Exactly. That kind of deal has been standard for a long time. Obama’s unique — I should say unprecedented — contribution is to add a new wrinkle, sticking the general public with the tab. Just like accountability, the costs never fall upon him personally.

jwolf on December 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM

For $2 million, you would think these crooks could at least have created 3 jobs; not just saved 3 jobs.

LASue on December 9, 2009 at 2:57 PM

News Flash…the WH is holding a summit tomorrow on the need for even more PR firm bailouts in the hopes that it will add or create at least 2 more jobs. They will ask congress for another $50 million.

/snarc

scalleywag on December 9, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Hey wait just a min. Hillary’s campaign still owes me 1 million for hamburgers .Mr.Prez please send me a check.

thmcbb on December 9, 2009 at 3:03 PM

As a 63 year old retiree, here’s my offer: if Hillary! will give me a check for $2,000,000.00, (tax free, of course), I will immediately notify Social Security to stop sending me monthly checks. I will also swear NEVER to apply for, or accept money from Social(ist) (In)Security, Medicare, or any other Federal program established for the purpose of purchasing votes from old people. I will also promise to invest half of the money in American owned businesses.

When do I get my check?

oldleprechaun on December 9, 2009 at 3:08 PM

The guy looks like a rat character from some old Disney cartoon.

The Zoo Keeper on December 9, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Didn’t Obama promise to pay Hillary’s outstanding campaign debts in exchange for her dropping her fight for the nomination?

And wasn’t the amount somewhere around $6 million? Hmmm.

TXUS on December 9, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Why, yes…

New York Times
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: June 10, 2008

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s largest outstanding bills are to some of her closest advisers, who might be willing to cut her a deal. Mrs. Clinton, for example, owes nearly $5 million to the firm of her former pollster and senior strategist, Mark Penn.

Joe Caps on December 9, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I get it now…Mr. President just had to wait for the perfect opportunity to dig in the taxpayers pockets to pay off Hillary’s debts. Suckered again! Man, this guy is one smooooooothe operator. I didn’t even see that one coming.

scalleywag on December 9, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Meanwhile, bozo moves an inconvenient number of unemployed into the “they don’t count” column and takes no real action on unemployment.

Six million is enough to fund a small startup company for a couple of years!

dogsoldier on December 9, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Could this be Hildabeast paying off her campaign debt?

alliebobbitt on December 9, 2009 at 1:42 PM

You’re close. The correct way to put it is, Could this be Obama paying off Hilda’s campaign debt, as promised?

I wonder how much longer until her “contract” as his Sec State” expires?

ConservativeTony on December 9, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Nothing to see here; “Lunchpail”, “Sheriff”, “In Country” Joe Biden has matters well in hand

ya2daup on December 9, 2009 at 3:44 PM

This is like one big never ending SNL skit.

ConservativeTony on December 9, 2009 at 3:48 PM

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 issued to Penn’s polling firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, according to federal records.

What the hell does the government need with a polling firm here? I can sort of understand hiring a big advertising/PR firm for a promotion campaign, and Burson-Marsteller is one of the biggest around. But what was the $2.8 million to Penn, Schoen and Berland for?

When you put this together with the delay in implementation of the digital switch, it sure looks like this was a hidden payoff of Hillary’s campaign debt to Mark Penn with taxpayer dollars.

rockmom on December 9, 2009 at 3:54 PM

IMO Penn has a LOT of the load of the campaign to bear for the HRC loss. So I hereby move that he pay taxpayers for every job lost under Obama.

ginaswo on December 9, 2009 at 3:54 PM

What a coincidence! Almost the same amount the HRC campaign owed Penn.

lonestar1 on December 9, 2009 at 4:02 PM

How is this even legal?

RedbonePro on December 9, 2009 at 4:09 PM

This polling firm must be a lot different than the meaningless ones with the crayons.

scalleywag on December 9, 2009 at 4:17 PM

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