Millions Paid to Liberal Public Relations Firms

Liberal PR firms are printing money – without oversight – when it comes to the Obama administration. Former White House communications director and current Obama confidant, Anita Dunn, has unfettered access to the White House. She has made over 100 visits to the White House in the last three years and continues to work for multiple companies that lobby the Obama administration. Since she left her full-time role at the White House in 2009, the size of her PR Agency, SKD Knickerbocker, has doubled.

While in politics there are few people with pure motives, clearly Dunn is making millions because of her access to the White House and Obama. She represents multiple clients with interests in front of the White House.  While she is undoubtedly smart and good at what she does, why is it that other than one media feature, this hypocrisy has been largely ignored by the media?

Where are the investigative reporters? Where are the request for documents and hounding stories about her, which we would undoubtedly witness if she were a conservative in a conservative administration? Undoubtedly, the fact that Dunn’s partner at the same PR firm, Hillary Rosen, created a national uproar when she said a few months ago that Ann Romney, who raised five sons, had “never worked a day in her life,” would have been a far bigger problem. Could anyone imagine the pestering reporters and endless headlines we’d observe if this was a Republican affiliated firm?

Similarly, ObamaCare is being supported by a $20 million public-relations firm contract employed by the Health and Human Services Department. The $20 million is being paid to public relations agency Porter Novelli via their DC office, which is headed by Catherine “Kiki” McLean — a former “on-air surrogate of the Obama for America campaign.” Another HHS contract for almost $6 million was paid to Eric Whitaker, at the University of Chicago medical center, where Michelle Obama was formerly employed.

And those are only some of the PR contracts we know about — as according to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and oversight subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, for the last 5 months their inquiries about the marketing of ObamaCare have been ignored. Aren’t taxpayers entitled to know where their money is spent? And is not taxpayer dollars on partisan political causes government funded propaganda?

Similarly, while every minor incident in Israel is front-page news and Syria’s massacres of tens of thousands of its own citizens is relegated to occasional media snippets, this week it was revealed that Washington-based Qorvis Communications continues to work on behalf of the president of Equatorial Guinea’s family. The President of Equatorial Guinea’s son and the government ministry he ran have fallen under increasing scrutiny over the past year as corruption and money-laundering investigations in the U.S. and France have resulted in allegations that millions of dollars were siphoned out of the West African country.

This PR firm has worked for such “enlightened” countries as Yemen, Saudi Arabia (after 9/11), and the government of Bahrain, which has spent $32 million on publicity since the start of protests there in February 2011. Public Relations pros are getting paid very well to spin liberal media stories to the media.

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  • Schlomotion

    "Similarly, while every minor incident in Israel is front-page news"

    Minor incidents like Israel trying to annex Argentina?

    • Roger

      Schlo, come on, why not take it one more step and say the Jews want to kill all the Argentine Children while you're making things up?

      You just aren't credible.

      That story wasn't about any annexation, it was about Justice! And not the sharia kind you probably advocate.

    • Mary Sue

      schlo, what are you smoking? What you say the article is and what the article is, have nothing to do with one another.

  • Ghostwriter

    "Annex Argentina?" Are you kidding me,Schlomotion? The article was about Israel trying to make sure Argentina didn't try any monkey business with what happened to the Jewish community center in 1994. But,of course,the only Jews you love are dead ones,not living ones.

  • Anamah

    The whole communist band stinks.

  • kathy

    “Old important”.. Sick of movie star ACTOR President” and weather undergrond Nazis .AYERS/..DUNN as you can see.. Presenting a FALSE PICTURE. in order to save FACE by the PR Firm, that IN 2014 HAS SHADOWED THE Problems/ Controlled the Message. IS A DESTRUCTIVE FORCE.. You pay for… TAXPAYERS NEED A UNION. I am sick of paying for Federal Unions. And now..PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRMS… to Promote a False narratative… OMG CRAZY. SO WHAT REALLY TRULY GOING ON, beside GENOCIDE, and PR Firm Shows….. This PR firm has worked for such “enlightened” countries as Yemen, Saudi Arabia (after 9/11), and the government of Bahrain, which has spent $32 million on publicity since the start of protests there in February 2011. Public Relations pros are getting paid very well to spin liberal media stories to the media.

    • kathy

      $20 million Porter Novelli contract is just the tip of the iceberg. In an article from May 22, 2012, the Heritage Foundation reported that the Obama administration has long been funneling taxpayer dollars into the promotion of Obamacare.

      According to the article, from October 2010 through February 2011, the administration spent more than $1.4 million in taxpayer money on online advertisements promoting the Affordable Care Act. This included expenditures on internet search tracking and ad campaigns.

      The Porter Novelli contract is particularly notable, however, both for its high price tag and also for its well-connected beneficiaries. As CNS News reports, Catherine “Kiki” McLean, a senior partner and managing director at Porter Novelli, is a longtime Democratic operative, senior advisor, and campaign surrogate who has worked for the campaigns of Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama. Porter Novelli’s own website describes McLean as “a true D.C. insider.”

      In fact, the recent Obamacare deal is but one of many contracts HHS has awarded the PR firm. According to government records, Porter Novelli has been awarded nearly $49 million in HHS contracts since 2010. PR Week reported in a June 8, 2012 article that, just this March, HHS renewed a $1.3 million contract with the PR firm for the purpose of promoting STD awareness.

      Of course, the practice of using government contracts to reward political supporters is by no means a new phenomenon. As a February 4, 2004 Washington Post articlereported, during the Bush administration HHS granted a lucrative Medicare contract to National Media Inc., an advertising firm which was then employed by the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign.

      The Obama administration is also by no means unique in its propensity for using taxpayer dollars to fund massive PR campaigns aimed at popularizing its agenda. As Fox News reported, the Bush administration spent well upwards of $100 million on a 2003 campaign intended to spread information about the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. The Bush administration was also harshly criticized for spending $840,000 taxpayer dollars promoting No Child Left Behind, as Fox News pointed out.