Propaganda Efforts by the Obama Administration May Be Criminal

Brian Darling

The Obama Administration has some explaining to do. Politico reports in a Friday story that 2011 could be a tough year for an Administration facing numerous oversight hearings on issues ranging from the controversy over the Justice Department’s handling of the New Black Panther Party investigation to the numerous bailouts administered by Obama Administration officials. Specific allegations from Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) regarding the use of government sponsored propaganda should raise ethical flags, if not legal ones, for Americans who don’t want tax dollars used to promote the big government ideas of President Barack Obama.

From Politico:

If President Barack Obama needed any more incentive to go all out for Democrats this fall, here it is: Republicans are planning a wave of committee investigations targeting the White House and Democratic allies if they win back the majority.

An investigation of the Obama Administrations use of government sponsored propaganda to promote the left wing agenda of the President is one of the areas planned for investigation.  A report from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released August 16, 2010 indicates that members of the Obama Administration may have broken the law implementing the President’s pubic relations and propaganda efforts.  Congressman Darrell Issa, Ranking Member of the Committee, has been a critic of the Obama Administrations misuse of federal monies and he has put out this staff report, “Analysis of the First Year of the Obama Administration:  Pubic Relations and Propaganda Initiatives.”

The  Report summarizes:

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration on January 20, 2009, ordinary Americans have financed and been exposed to an unprecedented number of public relations and propaganda efforts. Federal spending for public relations contracts rose to historically-high levels during the Bush Administration. 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. Congress buoyed the Administration’s propaganda efforts by increasing federal spending on public relations for the first time since 2005.

The report indicates that the first year of the Obama Administration was run more like a partisan campaign operation than a non-partisan public servant’s office.  The allegations of potential criminal conduct will not be easily brushed aside by the Obama Administration.  The serious allegations contained within this report are a preview to a full investigation of these activities in the next Congress.

The Issa Report maps out current law on the use of federal funds to promote and coordinate lobbying efforts by the executive branch of the federal government.  It is clear that the Constitution does not allow the Executive branch to engage in propaganda and partisan public relations efforts without authorization from Congress.  Article 1, Section 7, clause 7 of the Constitution states “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”  Consistent with the Constitution, Congress annually passes appropriations language stating that federal funds can’t be used for publicity or propaganda unless Congress explicitly consents.

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