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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Comment pages: 1 2

I just heard a radio clip of Robert Gibbs responding to this by saying “If playing the blame game created jobs, we would all be rich”. Pretty funny, considering Gibbs has a job because Obama played the blame game with Bush and continues with it to this day.

Kaisersoze on December 9, 2009 at 4:18 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

Felt tip markers ain’t cheap, wag…

karl9000 on December 9, 2009 at 4:48 PM

This is criminal, should be investigated along with all of Hillary’s $ 10M + campaign debt and if it was paid by Obama impeahment proceeding should begin immediately.

And if O spends the repayment or Congress OK’s it being spent Obama and the rest of the lying hoodlums in Washington need to apologize to George Bush rather than him blaming everything on GWB. Enough of this bullshit.

bluegrass on December 9, 2009 at 4:56 PM

It’s not even the amount of money spent that steams me, it’s the fact that it’s all being thrown down the rathole!

Dark-Star on December 9, 2009 at 6:54 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

As another comment pointed out, the US taxpayers are paying off Hillary’s debt, not Obama. Since she accepted the deal, I was very careful in my wording. She folded when it became clear Obama would remember her debt.

But his goal from the beginning was to unlock the Treasury for his friends. This is just the tip of the iceberg, I’m sure.

chunderroad on December 9, 2009 at 6:56 PM

It’s not even the amount of money spent that steams me, it’s the fact that it’s all being thrown down the rathole!

Dark-Star on December 9, 2009 at 6:54 PM

No kidding. How does Penn even have the balls to charge several million for that trainwreck of a campaign.

chunderroad on December 9, 2009 at 6:57 PM

I’m still wondering who got paid off with the $18 million that went to create that wonderful website, http://www.recovery.gov.

PatMac on December 9, 2009 at 8:58 PM

Wasn’t that tough guy, Sheriff Joe Biden, supposed to ride herd on Porkulus spending? Where’s Joe? Has anyone asked him about all this pork barrel spending?

rgeaste on December 9, 2009 at 9:20 PM

Comment pages: 1 2