Two stories that caught my eye this morning, both of them revealing and telling.
The first comes our way via Westport, Connecticut:
Westport’s first selectman says the town has been informed it will not be reimbursed thousands of dollars for President Barack Obama’s visit for a fundraiser earlier this month.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff says the Democratic National Committee notified the town it will not pay police and fire overtime costs totaling $14,812.
The town asked the DNC and Obama for America to pay the overtime costs incurred when the president arrived at Sherwood Island State Park on Aug. 6 to attend a fundraiser in Stamford and a $35,800 per person dinner at the Westport home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
The New Register reports that an executive of the Democratic National Committee wrote that as a private organization it did not participate in security, traffic control, fire or emergency planning.
So local taxpayers picked up the tab for an Obama campaign event.
The Labor Department paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal stimulus funds to a public relations firm to run more than 100 commercials touting the Obama administration’s “green training” job efforts on two MSNBC cable shows, records show.
The commercials ran on MSNBC on shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in 2009, but the contract didn’t report any jobs created, according to records reviewed recently by The Washington Times.
Spending reports under the federal Recovery Act show $495,000 paid to McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC, which the Labor Department hired to raise awareness “among employers and influencers about the [Job Corps] program’s existing and new training initiatives in high growth and environmentally friendly career areas” as well as spreading the word to prospective Job Corps enrollees.
The firm ultimately negotiated ad buys for “two approved spots” airing 14 times per week for two months on “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” and “The Rachel Maddow Show,” according to a project report, which listed the number zero under a section of the report asking how many jobs had been created through the stimulus contract.
David Williams, president of the nonprofit watchdog Taxpayers Protection Alliance, called the contract “questionable” because it created no jobs and because of the placement of the ads on shows viewed as friendly to the administration’s policies.
“Hiring a PR firm does not create jobs, and this was obviously meant for selling a particular political agenda,” Mr. Williams said. “The placement really reeks of a political ad rather than a job ad, and taxpayers see through this.
“Taxpayers would be a lot happier at the end of the day to see a completed road rather than a bunch of ads on cable television,” he said.
Taxpayers funding things that benefit no one but Obama is yet another reason to wait with baited breath for November.
It can't get here soon enough.